Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a distinct technique proven to treat many mental health disorders effectively. The skilled therapists at Thrive Counseling Services, LLC, have extensive experience using CBT to help you identify and change the dysfunctional thoughts that cause negative emotions and challenging behaviors. To learn more about CBT, call the office in Gilbert or Scottsdale, Arizona, or book an in-person or telehealth appointment online today.
Though there are several types of CBT, they’re all based on the principle that your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are interconnected.
Your thoughts and perceptions (cognitive processes) directly influence your emotions and behaviors. Problems begin when you have distorted or unrealistic thoughts. You’re usually not aware of these thoughts because they’re ingrained in your brain and subconscious.
When you encounter a challenging situation, the thoughts can trigger an inappropriate, exaggerated, and/or negative emotional and behavioral reaction. Your reactions might then cause many issues. For example, they may disrupt relationships, cause problems at work or school, or prevent you from building friendships.
In CBT, you learn to recognize the thoughts and take time to challenge them by comparing them with reality. This allows you to change your thoughts, which in turn changes your emotional and behavioral reactions.
TF-CBT, or trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, is a treatment for children, adolescents, and adult survivors who have emotional and behavioral problems because they experienced trauma. This type of CBT also includes their parents, family, and/or caregivers.
The trauma that affects their thoughts and emotions could include grief (death of a friend or family member), sexual or physical abuse, domestic violence, or neighborhood violence. Therapists often use TF-CBT to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.
CBT effectively treats many conditions, including:
When working with children who have these disorders, your therapist uses techniques like play therapy, pictures, and role-playing.
CBT is time-limited. You may have 20-25 sessions or less. The process is also structured and focuses on current circumstances and behaviors.
For example, your therapist may ask you to write down one or two examples of problem behaviors (reactions) that occurred during the week. You also note what happened that triggered the behavior along with your emotions and thoughts.
At your next session, you and your therapist discuss your behavior example, helping you evaluate whether your thoughts were based in reality and appropriate.
By dissecting these current moments while they’re fresh in your memory, you can begin to see patterns. Then your therapist teaches you ways to change the thought patterns by challenging them before reacting.
To learn more about CBT and how it can help you, call Thrive Counseling Services, LLC, or book an appointment online today.