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Online Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
What is cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-behavioural therapy, or CBT, is a widely recognised evidence-based type of therapy that addresses present problems while working collaboratively toward clients’ objectives. Research has shown the efficacy of CBT in addressing multiple psychological problems, including anxiety disorders, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), eating disorders, low self-esteem, insomnia etc.
Founded on the concept that thoughts, emotions, and behaviours are interconnected, CBT teaches people practical strategies to effectively manage psychological distress.
The first step in therapy is enhancing self-awareness levels, so the person identifies their patterns of thought, emotion and behaviour. Only by recognising this triad, people can start making changes. Then, two main components become important in the process: the cognitive and the behavioural elements. At a cognitive level and through different strategies, CBT shows how to challenge unhelpful and unrealistic thoughts and substitute them with more realistic and helpful ones. At a behavioural level, CBT tries to change the way the person behaves, with the idea that these changes will positively impact the thoughts and emotions.
CBT is a highly pragmatic therapy designed to be time-limited, although its duration may vary depending on the individual’s specific concerns, occasionally extending into longer-term therapy.
The cognitive model
The cognitive model developed by Aaron Beck is at the core of cognitive-behavioural therapy. In a nutshell, this model is based on the idea of the close connection between thoughts, emotions, behaviours, and physical sensations, where changes in one of them can influence the others. While we may have limited control over our feelings, we can change our thoughts and behaviours. Unhelpful thoughts are substituted by others with more realistic ones, while behaviours are modified to bring thinking and emotional changes.
There are different types of thoughts, from automatic thoughts, intermediate thoughts and core beliefs. All of them can be challenged using different strategies.
Automatic thoughts are more conscious and over the surface, while core beliefs, which are deeply held ideas about the self, others, and the world, can be more difficult to identify. These beliefs are often learnt during childhood, and can substantially influence how individuals interpret events. Common core beliefs include notions such as “I am worthless,” “I am inadequate,” and “The world is a dangerous place.”
How can CBT help
CBT can be highly effective in various ways:
- Educating the client about the cognitive model, enables them to recognize when a thought triggers an unpleasant emotion.
- Enhancing the client’s understanding of thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and behaviours.
- Cultivating awareness of the client’s thought patterns, sometimes operating unconsciously.
- Teaching the client to identify common distorted thoughts and replace them with more realistic and helpful ones.
- Helping the client identify and change negative core beliefs.
- Instructing the client in problem-solving techniques.
- Equipping the client with practical tools for use beyond therapy, enabling them to manage various challenges and reduce the risk of relapse.
What happens in a CBT session
Sessions are structured and collaborative, and the therapist and client will work together towards the client’s goals.
In the beginning, the therapist will gather the information required to understand the client’s problems, conceptualise his core beliefs, and show how those show up in specific situations or behaviours.
The sessions are personalised, and the therapist will teach the CBT tools that fit the client’s particular case. Through therapy, the client will understand his patterns of thoughts, emotions, physical reactions and behaviours and will apply techniques to modify what is causing distress.
CBT requires the client to do some tasks at home to practise what is taught during the session. The more engaged the client, the higher the rate of success.
Do you offer CBT therapy near me?
We offer online CBT therapy because this way we can reach you out whenever you are in the world. Trained in the UK, we provide support to people all over the world, in Spanish and English.