Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a type of psychotherapy that is used to treat mental health conditions. It is a very effective treatment for conditions such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. It is less commonly used, but also an effective treatment for eating disorders, substance abuse, and bipolar disorder. It can also be helpful in managing chronic pain, insomnia, and other medical conditions.
CBT is an evidence-based practice, which means that there is scientific evidence to support its use. In this blog post, we will discuss what cognitive behavioral therapy is, how it works, and some of the benefits that it can provide.
What is CBT
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy that helps people to change their thinking and behavior. It is based on the premise that our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and physical sensations are all interconnected.
For example, if someone is anxious, CBT can help them to identify and challenge the negative thoughts and beliefs that are causing their anxiety. This can help to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and improve the person’s quality of life. CBT is a problem-focused and action-oriented approach to treatment. This means that it focuses on the here and now and helps people to find solutions to their problems.
What to Expect in a Session with CBT
During the first session, your therapist will ask you questions about your symptoms, thoughts, feelings, and behavior. They will also ask about your past experiences and any other factors that may be contributing to your current difficulties. Based on this information, they will develop a treatment plan with you.
In a CBT session, the therapist will help you identify your negative thoughts and behaviors and then work with you to find more positive or rational ways of thinking and behaving.
CBT typically involves working on specific tasks between sessions. These may include practicing new skills, keeping a diary of your thoughts and feelings, or gradually exposing yourself to situations that make you anxious. Your therapist will provide support and guidance as you work on these tasks. CBT aims to help you feel better about yourself and to improve your quality of life.
Examples of Using CBT in Daily Life
One way to begin CBT is with a “Thought Log.” This is a journaling exercise in which you record your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. You can then identify patterns and start to challenge your negative thoughts.
Here are some examples of CBT thought logs:
- I am feeling really down. Today, I had a fight with my partner and I’m feeling really upset.
- I’m feeling really angry. I was cut off in traffic and now I’m stuck in this traffic jam.
- I’m feeling really anxious. I have a presentation to give tomorrow and I’m worried about it.
- I am feeling really guilty. I’ve said some hurtful things to my friend and I feel really bad about it.
Once you have identified your negative thoughts, you can start to reframe them.
This means looking at the situation from a different perspective and challenging your negative thoughts. For example, if you are feeling down because you had a fight with your partner, you might challenge that thought by saying to yourself, “I had a fight with my partner, but that doesn’t mean that I’m a bad person.”
If you are feeling anxious about a presentation you have to give, you might challenge that thought by saying to yourself, “I am feeling anxious about my presentation, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to fail.”
As you can see, the goal of CBT is to help you find more positive and realistic ways of thinking about your life experiences. Over time, this reframing becomes easier and second nature, causing those negative thoughts to decrease and be easily replaced with more positive, rational thoughts
If you are experiencing negative thoughts and behaviors that are affecting your mood and well-being, CBT may be a good treatment option for you. If you are interested in CBT, it is important to find a therapist who is experienced and qualified in this type of therapy. The following questions may be helpful to ask:
- What is your training and experience in CBT?
- How do you tailor CBT to meet the needs of your clients?
- What challenges have you seen people with similar problems to mine successfully overcome in therapy?
- What are your thoughts about my specific situation?
- How can I expect to feel better as a result of CBT?
Finding the right therapist is an important part of getting the most out of therapy. If you have any questions or concerns about CBT, be sure to bring them up with your therapist. With the right treatment, CBT can be a very effective way to improve your mood and well-being.
Begin CBT Therapy in New Bern, NC
You deserve support in overcoming and rewiring negative thought patterns. Our team of caring therapists would be happy to offer support from our New Bern-based practice and across the state via online therapy. You can start your therapy journey by following these steps:
1. Fill out this consult form.
2. Learn more about our skilled therapists.
3. Begin overcoming past thoughts and behaviors!
Other Services Offered With Renewed Wellness Counseling
Our team knows you may struggle with a variety of mental health issues. This is why we are happy to offer support for your mental wellness from our New Bern, NC-based practice. Our therapists specialize specifically in therapy for military families, chronic illness counseling, and addiction counseling. We also offer life transition counseling, anxiety treatment, and trauma therapy. In fact, we can help you wherever you are in the state with online therapy in North Carolina and South Carolina. Let’s work together to get you to a good place!