Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one of the more common psychotherapy types these days due to its effectiveness. This type of therapy focusses on problem points you may have and can improve your mood by gradually changing your thoughts, behaviors and emotions.
How Does CBT Work?
Much of traditional counseling involves investigating your childhood hurts to better understand and solve your current challenges. CBT therapy homes in on your present-day thoughts and teaches you to challenge distorted thinking patterns or harmful behavior.
Because our thinking can motivate how we feel and behave, CBT seeks to reframe the thinking process into something more helpful and beneficial.
Here’s how “Psychology Today” describes cognitive behavioral therapy:
“CBT aims to identify harmful thoughts, access whether they are an accurate depiction of reality, and, if they are not, employ strategies to challenge and overcome them.”
One of the most compelling and empowering aspects of CBT is that, regardless of our past traumas, we can learn to improve our thinking. And once we’ve done the hard work of thinking more accurately about our lives, our overall wellbeing improves. Our emotions and the way we act begin to fall in line with that more healthful thinking.
Who Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For?
Virtually anyone can benefit from CBT regardless of age. Children, teens and adults all can experience significant improvement in their lives by learning to apply the principals of CBT.
What Conditions Can CBT Help With?
Just as there are a wide range of people CBT can assist, there are also a wide range of conditions it can help to improve. Think of the many life challenges that tend to be worsened by inaccurate or unhealthful thought processes and you’ll come up with quite a few. Here are some specific challenges CBT can help with:
- Anxiety disorders
- Eating disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Major depressive disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorders
- Insomnia (especially when nighttime ruminating is involved)
- Many other conditions
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Relationships
Our relationships (especially our closest ones) can either be a source of great happiness and fulfillment or quite the opposite. Too often, conflicts arise and diminish the strength of our closest relationships.
Why does this happen? Typically, it’s due to cognitive distortions CBT is able to improve upon. Those distortions can come in the form of distrust, impulsive spending, unfaithfulness, anger or addiction among others.
It’s not like anyone sets the goal of having relationship difficulties. They just naturally happen as our childhood, extended families and past experiences shape our thoughts. Our unique thought processes can then clash with the unique and very different ones of our significant other.
When we learn to exercise more realistic and accurate thinking deriving from those backgrounds and experiences, this helps us bond better with our spouse or partner. When cognitive distortions play out in our relationships, however, that bond breaks down.
With CBT, you and your partner can work together with your therapist to discover thinking patterns that are harming your relationship. Then, you’ll be able to rephrase those cognitive distortions so they become accurate, realistic and healthy. The result can be a healthier, happier and more enduring relationship.
There’s certainly nothing to be ashamed of if you feel the need to get CBT help for your relationship. All of us have some measure of cognitive distortions we can improve upon, making our lives better in the process.
Your therapist can help you and your partner discover trouble points and improve on them (some of which are tough to see without an unbiased third party trained in CBT).
Could You Benefit from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Virtually everyone could. We all can struggle with distortions in our thinking either passed down through our families or through repeated unhealthy attempts to cope with past traumas and other difficult life events.
If you’d like to learn how to have more freedom in your thoughts so your life can be happier and more fulfilling, feel free to get in touch with us. Valencia Relationship Institute can use CBT to help you whether that’s in the form of marriage counseling, couples’ therapy or individual counseling
We provide counseling in Burbank/Toluca Lake, CA as well as Valencia, CA. You can quickly and confidentially schedule an appointment with us at your convenience.