What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is goal-oriented treatment that takes a hands-on approach to problem-solving. Numerous studies suggest CBT leads to significant improvement in one’s quality of life, and it’s widely used among Edgewood therapists to treat everything from depression to substance abuse.

What are the core principles of CBT?

  • Psychological problems are partly based on faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking
  • Psychological problems are partly based on learned patterns of unhelpful behavior
  • People can learn better ways of coping with problems, thus relieving their symptoms and living a better life

CBT focuses on the thoughts, images, beliefs and attitudes (a person’s cognitive processes) and how these processes relate to the way a person behaves as a way of dealing with emotional problems. Once established, a therapist works with the client to change problematic thinking and behavior.

How are thinking patterns changed?

  • Learning to recognize and reevaluate the thought distortions that are creating problems
  • Gaining a better understanding of the behavior and motivations of others
  • Using problem-solving skills to cope with difficult situations
  • Learning to develop a greater sense of confidence in one’s abilities

How are behavior patterns changed?

  • Facing fears instead of avoiding them
  • Using role play to prepare for problematic interactions with others
  • Learning to calm the mind and body

How does CBT differ from other therapies?

CBT favors a more equal and practical client/therapist relationship. Clients are taught ways to become their own therapist instead of depending on guidance from ongoing treatment. Also, with CBT, therapists emphasize what is going on in a client’s current life instead of focusing on what led up to their difficulties. While a certain amount of background is needed, sessions focus on moving forward and developing more effective ways to cope with life.

For more information about CBT, or if you think this method of therapy can enhance your life, reach out to Edgewood today.