What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an approach to therapy that challenges the intimate and reactionary relationship between our thoughts, emotions and behaviours. CBT helps us to focus on thoughts, beliefs and attitudes that may be negative or irrational. An awareness of these thoughts will help us understand how they relate to behaviours and emotional problems.
The goal of CBT counsellors is to introduce healthy and positive ways of thinking. Ultimately, the goal is to feel better and behave in healthier ways.
We are the sum of our experiences
The way we react to the events in our lives is a function of a number of factors. These include our childhood experiences, especially our relationships with our primary caregivers. Additionally, our early adult years, our romantic relationships and our introduction to work life influences the way we think. Our response to any situation is informed by everything that we’ve ever learned or experienced.
In other words, today we are the sum of all our experiences.
Automatic, Negative Thoughts
Inevitably in the process of living, we encounter negative experiences that eventually led to automatic thoughts when we are triggered.
For example, 8 year old Timmy is reprimanded or shamed because he had failed to do well in school. This may lead Timmy to conclude that, “If I don’t do well, then I won’t be accepted or loved”. Consequently, later in life, when he failed to get a job, or experience the end of a relationship, his automatic thought is “I am not good enough”. Such a thought, if left unexamined and becomes chronic, can lead to anxiety, and depression.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy seeks to reframe negative and irrational thoughts such as “I am not good enough”, and to instal new and positive thoughts. These include thoughts such as “I am enough as I am” or “I will find love again”. The goal is to teach individuals to respond in healthy and functional ways to the situations in which they find themselves.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Counsellors Can Help
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is one of the most well researched therapies in the world since it was introduced by Aaron Beck in the 1960’s. Thousands of studies have concluded that CBT is effective in treating a wide range of emotional issues. These include anxiety, depression, relationship issues, anger and stress management, and even drug and alcohol addictions.
When working with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, your therapist will help you to identify and address specific irrational thoughts and beliefs that are leading to emotional issues.
Innova’s Coquitlam counsellors can help you today
If you are unsure about how CBT works, speak with a Innova counsellor today. Ask them specifically to illustrate how CBT could work with a specific issue that you are currently experiencing.