Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, not external things, like people, situations, and events. The benefit of this fact is that we can change the way we think, to feel and act better, even if the situation does not change. It is a form of therapy that emphasizes the important role of thinking in how we feel and what we do. CBT aims to help the client to become aware of thought distortions which are causing psychological distress, and of behavioral patterns which are reinforcing it, and to correct them. The therapist will make every effort to understand experiences from the client’s point of view, and the client and therapist will work collaboratively, exploring the client’s thoughts, assumptions and inferences. The therapist helps the client learn to test these by checking them against reality and against other assumptions.
Cognitive-behavioral therapists seek to learn what their clients want out of life (their goals) and then help their clients achieve those goals. The therapist’s role is to listen, teach, and encourage, while the client’s role is to express concerns, learn, and implement that learning.
The goal of therapy is to help clients unlearn their unwanted reactions and to learn a new way of reacting. When people understand how and why they are doing well, they know what to do to continue doing well.