Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a rather complicated term for a very simple thing – as sadly, terms in psychology often are.
In a nutshell CBT therapy is a bit like having a wise old friend who, whenever you go to see them, can always manage to get you to look at things from a different angle. Or think of something you hadn’t previously thought of.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is sometimes described as thinking therapy. It is about understanding the correlation between the ways in which we think and the ways in which we feel and behave.
If a situation caused an emotional response, then everyone would respond the same way to the same situation. Yet two people can experience the same life experience but have two completely different emotional responses.
For example, if two people are made redundant from the same job with exactly the same life circumstances and commitments, one could think he will never work again, become depressed and struggle financially, yet the other could take the opportunity to start their own business and become very wealthy. The difference is how each of the two thought about the situation.
As a great Greek philosopher once wrote: “Man is not moved by events but rather by his view of those events.”
How CBT therapy works
CBT therapy can help you uncover your automatic thought processes and beliefs. Over time, you can challenge and change those that are unhelpful (or ones that may have been helpful but now cause more problems than they solve). In turn, this positively affects how you feel and behave.
Cognitive behavioral therapy has also become increasingly popular in recent years due to its logical approach to problem solving and its effectiveness in a short period of time.
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