From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapy based on modifying cognitions, (thinking), assumptions, beliefs and behaviors, with the aim of influencing disturbed emotions. CBT is widely accepted as an evidence- and empiricism-based, cost-effective psychotherapy for many disorders and psychological problems. It is sometimes used with groups of people as well as individuals.
An example will illustrate the process: Having made a mistake, a person believes, "I'm useless and can't do anything right." This, in turn, worsens the mood, leading to feelings of depression; the problem may be worsened if the individual reacts by avoiding activities and then behaviorally confirming his negative belief to himself. As a result, a successful experience becomes more unlikely, which reinforces the original thought of being "useless."
In therapy, the latter example could be identified as a self-fullfilling prophecy or "problem cycle," and the efforts of the therapist and client would be directed at working together to change this. This is done by addressing the way the client thinks and behaves in response to similar situations and by developing more flexible ways to think and respond, including reducing the avoidance of activities. If, as a result, the client escapes the negative thought patterns and destructive behaviors, the feelings of depression may, over time, be relieved. The client may then become more active, succeed more often, and further reduce feelings of depression.
The objectives of CBT typically are to identify irrational or maladaptive thoughts, assumptions and beliefs that are related to debilitating negative emotions and to identify how they are dysfunctional, inaccurate, or simply not helpful. This is done in an effort to reject the distorted cognitions and to replace them with more realistic and self-helping alternatives.
Call Louann if you are interested in realizing and changing your own unhelpful thinking patterns, for more effective living. 303-721-0005