Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a popular approach to psychotherapy treatment, which focuses on altering one’s thoughts and/or behaviors to resolve their presenting problem. This problem might be trouble sleeping, arguing with one’s partner, drinking too much alcohol, or even depression. It is an effective form of therapy because it guides the individual through the process of identifying, understanding, and changing their harmful habits. These changes prove instrumental to living better.
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
At Thriveworks Counseling, we believe everyone can learn something valuable through work with a skilled, compassionate mental health professional—whether you’re between accepting a huge job promotion and leaving it all behind to pursue your real dream, you’re struggling with what to do and how to feel after your divorce, or you’ve been experiencing some strange psychological symptoms and you are in search of answers. In any case, a cognitive behavioral therapist at Thriveworks Counseling in Newton, MA can help.
How Does CBT Work?
As mentioned above, CBT is rooted in helping the client destroy their negative thinking patterns and adopt positive thoughts instead. How exactly is this accomplished? The therapist will use different techniques to help their clients understand the power of their thoughts: in sum, thoughts rule our feelings, and our feelings rule our lives. Take a look at the following example:
John’s best friend Anne hasn’t responded to his texts or calls for a few days now. Immediately John assumes that she is angry with him. He stays up all night wondering what he did to upset her. The following weekend, they both show up to a mutual friend’s party. Assuming she won’t want to talk to him, John dips past her. Anne notices and chases after him. “Are you avoiding me?” she asks. “Well, I just assumed you still didn’t want to talk to me,” he replies. Quickly, they get to the bottom of the problem. Anne wasn’t upset with John at all; she simply got a new number and was planning to give it to John tonight.
John assumed the worst: that his best friend was mad at him and didn’t want anything to do with him. In reality, she wasn’t mad at him at all—he was simply texting her old number. John caused himself unnecessary distress by assuming the worst: he engaged in the fortune telling distortion, one of many negative thinking patterns.
Your therapist will teach you about negative thinking patterns, but most importantly help you understand how you can change your thoughts to make a happier, healthier life. This proves helpful when it comes to controlling one’s anxiety, depression, and harmful habits like drinking or gambling.
Who Should Pursue CBT? Who Can It Help?
Just about anyone can benefit from working with a cognitive behavioral therapist. That said it may be most beneficial to individuals who can pinpoint a specific issue they want to address—as it’s more difficult to confront vague feelings of discontentment or unease because CBT is focused on analyzing specific thoughts and behaviors. That said, CBT often helps individuals who face the following challenges:
- Alcohol abuse
The Importance of a Strong Therapist-Client Relationship
In cognitive behavioral therapy, success relies on a mutual and equal relationship. Here’s how it works: first, the client explains what problem he or she is presenting as well as what improvements they would like to make in therapy. The therapist will then build each session around discussions about these topics. Each week, they’ll continue to tackle the issues the client presents, as they discuss the cause of these issues as well as potential remedies.
The therapeutic process doesn’t stop there. Often, clients are given homework assignments, which further help them to identify potential problem areas in their life and brainstorm ways to fix them. Take, for example, a client who has negative thought patterns, which is contributing to their anxiety. Their therapist might assign him the task of completing a journal entry each night to track these thoughts. They’ll then analyze the thoughts in therapy and talk about why the thoughts are problematic.
It’s crucial that a client trusts and confides in their therapist. Remember: your therapist or counselor isn’t out to get you. They want to help you. It’s vital that you wholeheartedly believe that so as to benefit exponentially from the therapeutic process.
Schedule a Session at Thriveworks Counseling in Newton Today
Do you think you could find value in cognitive behavioral therapy? Our therapists have seen firsthand how changing your thoughts can change your life. Not to mention, working with a mental health professional offers new understandings and gives you the opportunity to learn other effective tools for living better.
If you think you could benefit from working with one of our providers, reach out to Thriveworks in Newton today. To get started, just call (617) 992-2827 and a scheduling specialist will set you up with a therapist who can best help you. If your schedule allows it, you might even meet your therapist within 24 hours of your call. We hope to hear from you soon, and we look forward to starting this important work with you.