Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT):
- is collaborative. The clinician and the client work together to understand and resolve the client’s challenges. It is strength based, building on what is working or has worked in the client’s life and developing resources internally and externally.
- is educational in that handouts and written material is provided to give direction and exercises on how to examine, challenge and reframe problems.
- is short term as it usually takes in the range of 5-20 sessions.
- works on building skills and tools, through education, exercises and homework, for the client to learn new ways of coping that the client can continue to use after therapy is completed. This process builds the personal power of the client as he/she gains more control over his/her life.
- requires that the client engage in homework in order to examine different aspects of their life and implement new ways of thinking and behaving. Remember, there are 168 hours in a week and only one of which is in therapy.
- examines thoughts, feelings and behaviours. The client works to become aware of their thoughts, monitor their thoughts, and challenge the accuracy of those thoughts. Testing beliefs is one of the key components to engaging in CBT. Ineffective behaviours are often developed by clients to decrease stress and discomfort in the short term but often create more difficulties in the long term, “Short term gain for long term pain”. A therapist utilizing CBT as an approach helps the client to come up with new ways to handle situations that will improve coping and reduce discomfort.
- can help in affecting a change in how a client feels by working on thinking and behaviour which can include relaxation and HeartMath techniques.