Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a group of psychotherapeutic interventions that aim to explore and modify the relationships between cognitions (thoughts), behaviors (actions), and emotions (feelings) as a way to help people face and overcome life’s challenges. While there are many different types of CBT, most approaches put a primary emphasis on modifying a person’s thoughts and conclude that therapeutic change is accomplished, at least in part, by teaching people how to think in a more adaptive (or effective) manner. These changes in thinking have subsequent effects on an individual’s emotions and behaviors, thus reducing those symptoms (e.g, depression, anxiety, addiction, etc.) that are at the core of a person’s distress and difficulties.
Why Cognitive Behavior Therapy?
Cognitive Behavior Therapy is proven to be effective
While it is difficult to draw definitive conclusions when it comes to researching psychological and emotional phenomena, Cognitive Behavior Therapy is by far the most researched and empirically validated treatment today. Furthermore, Cognitive Behavior Therapy is proven to be most useful in treating anxiety and depression, two conditions that seem to pop their ugly heads up everywhere, thus making Cognitive Behavior Therapy useful in addressing a wide-array of presenting concerns.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy is easy to understand
We want the individuals we serve to have a clear idea of what we are doing and why we are doing it in therapy. While everyone has thoughts, feelings, and behaviors it is far easier to identify, explore, and modify one’s thoughts and behaviors. This is not to say that emotions are not important for they are perhaps most important in the grand scheme of things. A Cognitive Behavior Therapy approach to treatment simply takes a look at an individual’s experience through the lens of their thoughts and behaviors. Ultimately, entering therapy can be intimidating, especially when you don’t know what to expect. The transparency and ease of understanding associated with Cognitive Behavior Therapy can help calm any uncertainties.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy is practical
This may just be a personal preference of ours, but we value practicality. Cognitive Behavior Therapy has a well-researched theoretical base, but in treatment what takes precedence is what is currently taking place in an individual’s life and what can be done to make desired changes. Achieving greater insight is a worthwhile pursuit, but we’re more concerned with helping people put that greater insight to use.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy is time-limited
We believe in the adage, “It is a therapist’s goal to work themselves out of a job.” At Mindly, we understand that the reason why people come to therapy is because they are looking for help in escaping some sort of distress. We want to help you feel better as soon as possible while also setting you up for long-term success.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy is goal oriented
At Mindly, we do not delude ourselves into thinking that we know how to solve every problem that our clients experience or that we can somehow lead an individual down a path towards “enlightenment” or “self-actualization” (think Gandhi). Instead, we strive to assist individuals overcome specific obstacles that may be in their self-defined path towards whatever larger end they choose to pursue. Why? Self-actualization is life-long process, whereas therapy shouldn’t have to be.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy is flexible
CBT works well within a problem-solving/coaching framework and is not just for treating mental illness. We believe that while there is such a thing as mental illness, most of the distress and dysfunction that people (including those with a mental illness) experience is the result of ineffectively utilized mental and behavioral responses to environmental demands. In this sense, mental illness becomes just another obstacle to overcome in pursuit of one’s goals. Because thoughts, emotions, and behaviors underlie all human conscious experience, CBT can be useful in a wide-range of human pursuits including improving physical health, career advancement, and even spirituality.