What is CBT?
Different therapists use different techniques to help people. This is known as their “orientation”. The therapy I use is known as Cognitive Therapy (CT) or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
Cognitive Therapy is based on the principle that a thought (cognition) leads to a feeling (emotion). One of the first things we do in therapy is learn to be more aware of the thoughts and images that fly through our minds and notice how they impact our mood. Next we learn how to recognize which thoughts may be “distorted” or “unhelpful” and explore whether there are alternative ways of thinking about the situation.
Beyond this we learn about our Core Beliefs (also know as Self Doubts or Schemas). These are our deep insecurities, often learned in childhood. These, combined with certain Rules and Assumptions we have learned during our lives often give us a propensity towards a certain type of thought pattern and the resulting feeling and behavior.
Cognitive Therapy or CBT has a reputation for being shorter term than most traditional therapies and was one of the first forms of therapy to conduct successful outcome trials proving its efficacy. It has literally helped millions of people and you will notice that more and more therapists are using some of these techniques.