What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

August 13th, 2013 by ifi-admin

sad woman at the windowAt Integrative Health Consultants, we use a variety of approaches to help our clients. One such is based on a model called Cognitive Behavioral therapy. Here is a bit of information about the background of this treatment approach.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT as it is known, is based on the scientifically supported assumption that most emotional and behavioral reactions are learned. Therefore, the goal of therapy is to help clients unlearn their unwanted reactions and to learn a new way of reacting. Therefore, CBT has nothing to do with “just talking”. People can “just talk” with anyone. The educational emphasis of CBT has an additional benefit — it leads to long term results. When people understand how and why they are doing well, they know what to do to continue doing well.

CBT is “problem focused” (undertaken for specific problems) and “action oriented” (therapist tries to assist the client in selecting specific strategies to help address those problems).

CBT is thought to be effective for the treatment of a variety of conditions, including mood, anxiety, personality, eating, substance abuse, tic, and psychotic disorders. Many CBT treatment programs for specific disorders have been evaluated for efficacy; the health-care trend of evidence-based treatment, where specific treatments for symptom-based diagnoses are recommended, has favored CBT over other approaches such as psychodynamic treatments.

Generally speaking, there are six components or phases to CBT therapy:

  1. Assessment or psychological assessment;
  2. Reconceptualization;
  3. Skills acquisition;
  4. Skills consolidation and application training;
  5. Generalization and maintenance;
  6. Post-treatment assessment follow-up.

For an overview of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and it’s origins, visit this Wiki roundup.

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