Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in plain language is thought-behavior therapy. The goal is to understand how the interplay of contexts, cues, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors interact in complex ways. Within CBT there are a plethora of tools and techniques to help guide the process (look up thought logs, behavioral chain analysis, and progressive muscle relaxation techniques).
As an approach, CBT works very well for some and not so much for others. We are great at collaborating with you and determining the best way to approach your specific challenges. Those that tend to do well with CBT enjoy a more structured, homework-oriented, goal-directed, and non-exploratory approach to treatment. Ironically, some that are immediately drawn towards this treatment often benefit more from a psychodynamic approach. Using a rigid therapy for trouble with rigidity often compounds the problem. This is important to discuss with your psychologist. Getting in touch with lost parts of the self that are more creative, flexible, and spontaneous require a different treatment method and still solve the problem but leave a more balanced personality in the end too.
CBT is the most amenable theoretical orientation to research (because it is easily manualized) and as a result has become one of the most empirically supported approaches to therapy.
Its focus is on thoughts and specifically how deeply intertwined patterns of thinking and feeling co-operate together and influence behavior and overall mental health. As a result of experience, we can develop unhealthy thought-reflexes or as CBT calls them “automatic negative thoughts” or ANTS. Generating these patterns are often deeply hurt parts of us that need our loving attention. The wounds at the center are called “Core Beliefs” in CBT. Overall, the goal is to expose and process this core while promoting insight and change into unhelpful thoughts patterns and behaviors.
Manage general symptoms of mental illness or prevent a relapse of mental illness symptoms