What Is CBT?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is type of talk therapy that emphasizes the central role of cognitions in mental health. CBT was developed in the 1950s and 1960s and has emerged as a highly effective, evidence-based practice. Research has shown CBT to be highly effective at treating depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, sleep disorders, weight loss, procrastination, low self-esteem, and anger. Additionally, I have been successful in helping patients to cope with life stressors, including struggles with: work, relationship, pregnancy/parenting, and bereavement.

CBT examines the transactional relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Our thoughts impact how we feel and behave. An “activating event” (what actually happened) is not viewed as the cause of an emotional disturbance, it is rather in the interpretation of an event that disturbance lies. With interpretation, distortion (both adaptive and maladaptive) is inevitable. CBT teaches clients to identify their distorted thoughts, and move towards more adaptive cognitions.

How we think about ourselves, others, and the world around us shapes our experience, and over time, shapes our core beliefs. These core beliefs, (alternately called schemas) become the lens through which we view our current experiences. Through CBT, the client’s faulty cognitions and the underlying  core beliefs are challenged. Through repetition and practice of healthier thought processes, the client begins to internalize healthier beliefs which positively impact client’s affective state and behavior.