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What is CBT Therapy

Updated: May 20

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Have you started your therapy journey and are very nervous and feel as if you don't even know what you are looking for? Are you trying to find a therapist and you just don't know where to begin? Have You seen TikTok's and other posts about different modalities of therapy and which model is the best and which model is not the best form of therapy? Do you think, maybe I need DBT or EMDR or CPT or CBT but you have no idea of what any of those models mean or intel which can be severely overwhelming? If you answered yes to any of these questions, know that you are not alone. Therapy can be a very overwhelming experience for many individuals and our social media platforms sometimes can cause some confusion.

 In this blog, we will specifically talk about the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Model, more commonly known as CBT, which is an evidence based model in therapy.


So what is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)? According to the American Psychological Association, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence based psychological treatment model that was developed by Aaron Beck in the 1960s that has been proven to assist with treating a range of difficulties. The difficulties that CBT can assist with treating include but are not limited to, anger, depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, anxiety, alcohol, and drug use, marital difficulties, eating disorders, and other mental health conditions.  It was also reported that research has proven to demonstrate significant improvement in overall functioning and quality of life with therapists who utilize the CBT method with their clients. According to the American Psychological Association, CBT has also been demonstrated to be as effective or even more effective as other therapies, models, and psychiatric medications. Research has also found that cognitive behavioral therapy has also been utilized for physical health conditions, such as chronic pain and Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).


To continue, let's focus on how Cognitive Behavioral Therapy works. According to Harvard Health, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy usually consists of approximately 12-20 sessions which are typically conducted on a weekly or biweekly basis for 30-60 minute sessions. During CBT treatment, your clinician will work with you collaboratively to focus on CBT’s core principles. Aaron Beck shares that core beliefs, dysfunctional assumptions, and negative automatic thoughts are the reasons for psychological distress. According to the American Psychological Association clients are taught that 1. Emotional or psychological problems are based in part on unhelpful ways of thinking. 2. Emotional or psychological problems are based in part on learned patterns of negative behaviors. 3. People suffering from emotional or psychological difficulties can learn healthier ways of coping which will assist with relieving symptoms and assist with day-to-day quality of life and functioning.


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In order to assist with struggling with psychological difficulties associated with negative behaviors and unhelpful ways of thinking, CBT also focuses on changing thinking patterns through the cognitive model. Through the cognitive model, clients learn to recognize unhelpful thinking to assist with reevaluating their perceptions. Through CBT clients also gain a better understanding of their behaviors and the behaviors of other individuals. Clients also learn to utilize problem-solving skills to assist with day-to-day difficulties that we face as well as improving overall confidence and self-esteem with their abilities. In order to be able to restructure thinking and behavior, face fears, prepare for difficult situations and learn, healthy coping skills and strategies are a necessary part of the cognitive behavioral therapy process process. 

CBT has also been proven to be effective by studies and extensive research. So how effective is CBT? According to a study conducted by Oxford University’s Psychiatric Department CBT has proven to be significantly effective for therapeutic treatment. Oxford conducted a study which consisted of a 46-month study where 43% of the individuals who had received CBT treatment had improved reporting a 50% reduction of symptomology for depression. People who continued non-CBT care to manage depression symptoms only saw a 27% reduction of symptomatology regarding depression. A 50% reduction of symptomatology shows a significant improvement over other therapeutic models utilized in the study to treat depression. 

All in all, Finding the right therapeutic model for you can seem overwhelming without the proper information regarding the model being used by your clinician. To assist with the confusion, we have outlined here the basics of the cognitive behavioral therapy model, and its effectiveness to assist with your journey to finding the right therapist and therapeutic model utilized for therapeutic treatment journey. 

For more resources like this, please check out our other tips here: You can always find us at 954-903-1676 for counseling services. We look forward to assisting you in your personal goals!

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