What is CBT?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most used psychological therapies. CBT is a well-researched treatment that encompasses a range of therapeutic techniques. The goal of CBT is to change unhelpful behaviors, thoughts, and emotions. Engaging in CBT can help with anxiety, depression, addiction, PTSD, eating disorders, insomnia, and many other mental health issues. Working with a CBT therapist, you will learn new ways of thinking and behaving.
CBT’s theoretical model is based on the following assumptions:
- Cognitive distortions, or negative thinking patterns, cause mental health problems.
- Core beliefs, often formed in childhood, are deeply rooted learned patterns of thinking that influence how we see ourselves, others, and worldview. These core beliefs impact the many thoughts we have during the day, referred to as automatic thoughts. If we have many negative core beliefs, then we may engage in chronic negative thinking. For instance, a core belief of, “I am a bad person”, then we may have automatic thoughts of “My partner doesn’t love me” or “I don’t deserve to be happy”. Automatic thoughts can be thoughts, images, or physical sensations.
- When an event occurs, our brain automatically attributes meaning to this event, leading to certain emotions. Because our interpretations can be false or biased, we may engage in habitual negative thinking patterns and this can lead to anxiety, depression, anger, and many other disturbing feelings. For example, you may have the thought, “Everything is hopeless. Nothing will ever change” and subsequently feel depressed and hopeless.
- Individuals suffering from psychological problems can learn new ways of thinking and behaving to improve their functioning.
CBT theory is grounded in how our thinking and behavioral patterns are learned over time, starting from childhood experiences. Precipitating events trigger our minds to react in predictable ways, which can be troublesome. CBT teaches us healthier ways to respond and react to events, leading to a more fulfilling and empowering life.
CBT treatment encompasses a variety of techniques, depending on the psychological problem. Strategies include:
- Engaging in psychoeducation, or supportive information, to help an individual understand his or her psychological problem
- Identifying and changing negative thinking patterns
- Gaining insight into why we act in certain ways
- Developing helpful coping skills that you can use outside of therapy sessions
- Reducing maladaptive behaviors and engaging in adaptive behaviors
- Exposing an individual to feared events in a systematic manner, leading to a reduction in overall fear over time
- Improving self-confidence and self-esteem through lifestyle and interpersonal change
- Using homework and self-guided tasks to solidify learning and new habits
What issues does online CBT treat?
CBT can be easily tailored for online counseling. This therapy is one of the most accommodating for a virtual environment. A CBT therapist can adjust most all techniques so that you can receive CBT treatment via video-conferencing. Online CBT has been used to treat anxiety, depression, and insomnia, demonstrating the same level of effectiveness as in-person CBT. Any handouts or worksheets that you would normally be provided can be easily transmitted online.
Are you looking for an online CBT therapist?
Dr. Mazzei, a CBT therapist, has years of clinical experience using CBT to help individuals overcome their psychological difficulties. She has used CBT to treat anxiety, depression, PTSD, addiction, eating issues, and insomnia. She offers online CBT in her virtual practice. If you are interested in starting online CBT, please reach out to schedule an initial consultation or to learn more about how this therapy can help you.