Cognitive behavioral therapy is an approach to mental health treatment based on a simple premise: We are what we… think.
That’s to say, our feelings and behaviors are influenced by our thoughts or cognitions. If we’re struggling to control our feelings and behaviors, we can influence those by controlling our thoughts.
With cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT, a trained therapist can help you change the way you think — and then, the way you feel and behave.
What is cognitive behavioral therapy for?
Since CBT focuses on relieving the symptoms of mental illness by teaching people to cope with those problems in healthier ways, it’s effective in helping with a host of mental health problems, including:
- Addiction (drugs and alcohol)
- Anxiety disorders
- Eating disorders
- Relationship issues/marital problems
- Severe mental illness
- And more
Numerous studies have tracked the effectiveness of CBT over the years, proving that it’s as — or more — effective than other forms of psychological therapy and interventions. CBT is shown as an effective co-treatment to other therapeutic strategies, including medication.
How CBT helps change behavioral patterns
CBT can help address and resolve problematic behaviors by giving people a new way of considering their behaviors. That can include:
- Relaxation techniques to calm one’s body and mind
- Training to face fears and concerns rather than avoiding them
- Role-playing to prepare for interactions with others
- Problem-solving skills
- Insight into others’ behaviors and motivations
- Increased self-confidence
With these skills and changes in how one thinks, it’s easier to understand and change one’s behaviors. CBT can help people serve as “their own therapist” to better interpret whythey do things and control themselves.
How is CBT different from other types of therapy?
Traditionally, therapy has focused on helping people work through past issues, like trauma, that might influence current behaviors.
CBT, however, frequently focuses on current events in the person’s life, with an emphasis on gaining the skills to cope with current difficulties. While a therapist offering CBT might require some background information on a person’s life, most of the focus will be on helping to resolve current or ongoing issues.
How do I start cognitive behavioral therapy?
The first step is working up the courage to begin therapy. Many people are hesitant to take that first step to make an appointment, but therapy has proven to offer tremendous improvements to a person’s quality of life.
You can begin by reaching out to the Willowbrooke Counseling Center.
With a quick, free over-the-phone assessment, we can get you started with a therapist on our team who can work with you to identify your concerns and get you started on the road to a healthy, happy life!
We have offices in Carrollton and Villa Rica. Call 770-812-8863 for an appointment.