Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of short-term psychotherapy that focuses on a person’s dysfunctional thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes and how they influence behavior.
The focus of CBT is to help a person cope with emotional problems and change destructive patterns by challenging distorted cognitions and negative automatic thoughts.
In short, CBT brings awareness to how the cognitive process influences a client’s actions, specifically how they deal with emotional challenges.
Focus of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
The goal of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is to help a person learn to recognize negative patterns of thought, evaluate their validity, and replace them with healthier ways of thinking.
CBT helps clients change distorted perceptions, self-defeating beliefs, and errors in thinking that play a contributing factor in drug abuse, alcohol abuse, addictions, and mental health issues.
The Therapist’s Role in CBT
Because Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a combination of psychotherapy and behavioral therapy treatment, no two treatments are identical.
Depending on the needs and personality of each client, more focus may be put on establishing deep rooted thinking patterns (psychotherapy) or on the way our thoughts directly influence problematic behavior (behavioral therapy).
It is the job of the therapist to work in tandem with the client in order to identify emotional difficulties and create a plan to overcome them. Through the process of CBT, clients gain a new understanding and insight that benefit them for life.
Stages of Cognitive Therapy
- Assessment Stage
- Cognitive Stage
- Behavioral Stage
- Learning Stage
In the Assessment Stage, it is the therapist’s goal to build a foundation with their client. It’s important that the therapist not only get to know their client, but the client feel comfortable working with their therapist.
During this stage, the patient and therapist work together to identify problems, discuss goals, and plan the treatment.
In the Cognitive Stage, the second stage of CBT treatment, clients and therapists work together to understand the client’s way of thinking. Time is often spent discussing past events that may have led to unhelpful thoughts and attitudes.
Stage three, the Behavioral Stage, occurs when the information gathered during the Cognitive Stage is evaluated and applied. Once the client understands how their distorted perception has directly affected their behavior, they can work with their therapist to identify new thought patterns that will lead to new behaviors.
In the Learning Stage, the client and therapist review the principles of the therapy, ensuring the changes that have been made are permanent. When the client learns how to apply these coping mechanisms on their own, they are less likely to require more therapy in the future.
Why Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is Beneficial
Because Cognitive Behavioral Therapy provides clients with the coping skills necessary to handle difficult emotions, they learn to challenge their distorted cognitions and negative behavior without the help of a therapist.
Through strategies such as learning to face fears, understanding how to calm the mind and body, and preparing for difficult interactions with others, clients learn to be their own therapists.
While CBT does require an understanding of the client’s history, the focus of this therapy is on what is currently happening in the client’s life. This method encourages forward motion and the understanding of effective ways to cope with life’s difficulties.
At Alo House, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy follows our model of healing as it requires that our therapists and clients work together.
In addition, it gives our clients the tools necessary to live healthy, positive, and independent lives after leaving our care. CBT provides the coping mechanisms necessary for a successful recovery.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one of the therapy tools we use at Alo House.
We believe trust, meaningful connections, and kindness are the essentials to beginning a journey in recovery. We are dedicated to providing an honest, authentic, and genuine treatment environment that gives our clients a unique opportunity for healing.