What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

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Mental health therapy resources from Sarah O’Hern – Trauma and Relationship Counselor in Orlando

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

CBT is based on the concept that emphasizes the importance of utilizing your individual thoughts to guide your feelings and behaviors, rather than allowing your feelings to be directed by people, situations or events. Ideally, such a perspective will strengthen your ability to control your feelings in spite of situations that don’t change in your daily life. To put it simply, changing your thoughts and behavior can improve your feelings and emotions

Below is a list of some of the most common questions regarding CBT.

Can you give me an example of how CBT could help me in a daily situation?

Sure. If you were struggling with thoughts and fears involving classmates laughing at you in public, one way you could apply CBT would be to ask yourself questions about the roots for your fear such as, “Do I truly know that my classmates are laughing at me, or could they be laughing at something else?”

How long will it take to see results from CBT?
While each person’s response to differs to a varying degree, the average number of sessions clients receive is approximately 16 sessions, but the length of time to complete at least 16 sessions can vary depending on the client’s schedule as well as the counselors.

What does CBT NOT do that may surprise some people?

CBT does NOT tell people how they should feel.

What is CBT based on?
While there is no single psychologist or philosopher to directly credit as the founder of CBT, the therapy’s origins can be traced to leaders in the respective fields.  Some aspects of CBT are based on stoic philosophy, but other aspects of the therapy include principles and practices based on the psychological research of professor Aaron T. Beck. During his research for a psychological publication, Beck discovered that distorted thinking had a negative effect on a person’s behavior, regardless of the disorder the person was battling. As a result, Beck promoted an approach that utilize interventions to help people recognize, understand and confront their own distorted thinking.

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