Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

It’s what it says on the tin! An eyes open approach which challenges unhelpful thoughts, feelings and behaviors. It is an approach which was pioneered by the late Albert Ellis and then his work was further pushed by the popularly known Aaron T Beck. Since the 60’s cognitive therapy has been widely accepted and used among psychotherapist and other change therapists. CBT is arguable the most used intervention of the psychosomatic disorders treatments available. There are a number of reasons a therapist may choose to treat a client using CBT. In most cases the issue can come from a lack of understanding of a reality, for example a client may feel down all of the time but this is firmly held in place by a certain belief or underlying value. By exploring new options and new ways of thinking the client can see certain gaps and new areas of possibility which will allow them to life more of the life they choose.

Cognitive therapy can be very effective at treating a range disorders from depression, anxieties, worry and traumas, to bulimia and other eating and emotional disorders. The amount of sessions a person typically carries out is between 6 and 20 (dependent on the problem). Another reason CBT will remain in the top few therapeutic interventions is the fact that once someone has been through a program of sessions they usually feel empowered to make other small yet important changes in their lives. They are able to do this as they have learnt these new skills and can find a way of adapting them and creating option for any issue which may arise during their lives.

An example of how CBT can be used for low self esteem and low opinion.

Client: “Whenever find a partner they won’t stay with me as they think I’m stupid for not going to university”
Therapist: “How does, Not going to university make you stupid?”
Client: “My Dad said that people who don’t go to university are stupid?”
Therapist: “How many people do you know who didn’t go to university and are intelligent?”

These types of challenging questions will rapidly breakdown limiting beliefs and in most cases will have the effect of a “penny drop” moment, where the client gets a differant viewpoint of the old issue and is able to re-assess the old belief and move forward in their life.

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This is a very basic example of the questioning techniques which can be used and if you imagine a whole therapy session uncovering and resolving unwanted beliefs the results can be simple, enjoyable and most of all effective.

What have your experiences of CBT been like?