Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

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At Magnolia Creek, one of the many treatments we utilize is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which includes a range of strategies. Learning about it and its essential elements helps prospective clients understand what they can expect during treatment.

This type of talk therapy is a common one that mental health therapists use to help people become aware of distorted thinking. Understanding their negative thoughts, clients in therapy can see difficult situations more clearly and develop more effective responses.

Because of how it works, CBT is a helpful tool for treating behavioral and mental health issues. CBT can be beneficial for women with eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It can also teach clients how to manage stress more effectively. Additionally, CBT uses a simple structure, so most clients show results in just a few sessions.

CBT Components

The Impact of Negative Thoughts

The basis of CBT is that situations themselves don’t upset people, but rather, it’s the meaning that they give the situations. If clients have negative thoughts, they can’t see that their perception doesn’t fit. They continue to have the same thoughts and fail to learn new things. A depressed person, for instance, might think when they wake that they can’t face going to work. They might believe that they feel awful and that nothing will go right. If they stay home from work because of these thoughts, they won’t find out if their belief is wrong. Their thoughts may develop further and lead them to believe that they’re useless, weak, and a failure.

These negative thoughts can even trigger negative emotions and behaviors, making individuals feel bad about themselves. In this case, these negative emotions may also make them more likely to avoid going to work. This vicious circle can occur with other disorders as well and could begin a downward spiral.

CBT helps clients recognize these patterns and it teaches them to step away from their automatic negative thoughts and test them first. With the depressed individual, for example, CBT would encourage them to examine real-life situations to see what happens. The goal of CBT is to correct these distorted beliefs.

CBT Strategy Types

Mental health professionals use many specific approaches that fall under CBT, depending on each client’s needs. In every case, the objective is to help each client deal with their underlying thoughts that affect mental distress. CBT focuses on identifying and modifying distorted thinking, behaviors, and emotional responses. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), a type of CBT, addresses how clients think and behave. It incorporates mindfulness, emotion regulation, or other techniques.

Key Elements of Counseling Sessions

CBT is structured and doesn’t consist of clients freely discussing whatever they’re thinking in the moment. The first session involves the therapist and client getting to know each other. The client describes their problems, and they work together to set treatment goals.

The remaining sessions follow a general structure that uses the time as efficiently as possible. This structure also ensures that the therapists don’t miss any important details. While the therapist controls the topics and discussions, in the beginning, the client gains more control as they progress. By the end, this structure makes them feel empowered to keep improving themself.

Homework is another key element and an essential part of CBT. At the end of each session, the therapists assign the client activities to complete before the next session, which can include keeping a diary of situations that provoke anxiety or depression. During the next session, they review the events together and teach the client how to cope with similar situations in the future.

If you’d like to learn more about CBT or our other treatment offerings, our caring staff is ready to help. Call us or fill out the form to get started today.

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