Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) 101
by Peter Sacco
Cognitive behavioral therapy, also known as CBT is one of the most popular therapy treatments for mental health disorders as well as habits and addictions. It is not a new therapy as it has been around a long time depending if you attribute its origin to Albert Ellis’ Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy in the 1950’s, or Aaron T. Beck’s Cognitive therapy in the 1960’s.
No matter who you want to give major credit to for creating this effective mental health therapy, the operative word is “effective” – it works efficiently and shows excellent results!
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is effective because it does three important things for clients or patients using it.
First it helps teach individuals to assume a sense of self-empowerment – that is assuming responsibility for thinking the thoughts that lead to the feelings they are experiencing. CBT asserts that thoughts lead to feelings.
Feelings cannot occur unless thoughts are issued that create the feelings whether they are positive or negative.
Many people believe that feelings just happen and that they are not responsible for what they feel. CBT teaches that this way of thinking is wrong in that everyone assumes responsibility for what they think and therefore feel.
The second aspect of CBT is the emphasis it places on the client’s self-efficacy. The individual assumes all responsibility for not only what they think leading to what they feel, but also who and what they want to become. CBT teaches individuals that they have the accountability to choose whatever they want to think and feel.
This allows individuals that they do not live “by-proxy” when it comes to their thoughts and feelings, rather they are responsible to promote change in and for themselves. This concept of self-efficacy teaches individuals not to blame others for how they think and feel. This removes the burden of the “victim” role and places them in an empowered role of action – making and being the change that they want to be.
The third aspect of CBT is that it teaches individuals to live in the here and now. As they think so will they feel.
With that said, it is up to them to modify, re-create or create new positive cognitive scripts. Cognitive scripts are the common patterns or ways that people think about things as well as themselves. Over a period of time, cognitive scripts become habitual or second nature in that people become lazy thinkers – they use the same scripts over and over again, even when the scripts are negative and damaging.
CBT helps people to learn more effective, positive scripts in order to put their lives on the right track and help them become the person they most want to be.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is all about making change in one’s life.
This is only achieved through realizing that one’s current thinking patterns are not producing the desired feelings they want and because of that, they are not getting the results in life that they most wish they could achieve.
It is all about making change in the here and now, but the responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of the individual who wants to make that change in their life.
Hypnosis is considered a compliment to CBT especially in its ability to change current damaging thinking patterns around addictions. If you want to discuss working directly with us on your particular issue to see if we can help and advise you on a next step, then check out our Hypnosis Services or you can contact us here.
We have two more articles in this series and you can find them below.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY:
Peter Andrew Sacco Ph.D.
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