Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Meaning

Cognitive Behavioral

Change Your Life From The Inside-Out!

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy meaning (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that Aaron Beck and his colleagues first developed by creating cognitive behavioral therapy techniques.

Aaron, a renowned American psychiatrist, and his team had one sole purpose with the development of this technique – To help people overcome their emotional barriers and problems.

This team of geniuses knew one thing – Our human nature imposes us to be ruled by patterns of interpretation that then lead to patterns of thoughts, feelings, and finally – actions and emotions.

What this means for many people, including Aaron and his team, is that this natural tendency of the brain implies the need for people to address the core issue at hand – The mindset. This is the focus of cognitive behavioral therapy techniques is uncovering the mindset of the individual. 

Emotional Stress

As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, the stress caused by the danger of predation isn’t really present anymore, in our modern-day world, where we live in big cities.

Instead, most of the stress is emotional and comes from a variety of places.

The most common emotional stressors are namely people at our workplace, college assignments and deadlines, or just your regular cashier at the local grocery store, who had a bad day.

Whatever the case is, one thing is for sure – Such emotional stress, when sustained, can cause cognitive issues.

And no, we don’t mean full-on cognitive dissonance here, but rather subtle yet impactful things, such as negative interpretations about daily things.

Here’s an example of this:

Person A: Hey! You’re looking good today, friend! Just in time for that wonderful group of people I have to introduce you to… Oh yeah, sorry, perhaps I said that a little too late… So, are you ready?

Person B then goes on to quickly think inside of his/her head about all the ways in which he/she looks bad, how he/she is likely to make a bad impression etc., etc. All these self-sabotaging thoughts lead one way – To the person spitting an uncertain “U..Uh yeah, sure, maybe, I don’t know man…? I think I’ll head home. Thanks for hanging, though.”

So you see, in this specific scenario and many others, the person totally closes themselves off of the chance to meet some amazing new friends and establish meaningful connections.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Meaning In A Nutshell

As you may have learned in a previous article of ours where we touch on illness anxiety disorder (IAD), cognitive behavioral therapy techniques can be used to treat people with many mental health conditions.

Those include, but are not limited to:

  1. Anxiety disorders 
  2. Depression 
  3. Eating disorders
  4. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  5. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  6. Personality disorders. 

Though effective in that regard, you don’t really need to have a core issue to benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy techniques.

As a matter of fact, anyone can use this type of psychotherapy to improve the quality of their life.

The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy techniques is to change one’s thoughts, emotions and behaviors. 

Therapists who practice cognitive behavioral therapy techniques believe that the way people think about things (their mindset) affects how they feel, behave and what end results they reach. 

Another belief in the world of cognitive behavioral therapy techniques is that people do not have complete control over their thoughts or behavior.

Nevertheless, thanks to neuroplasticity, new ways of thinking about things can be learned, which will lead them to act differently in different situations.

What Does A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Professional Do, Exactly?

Okay, the term ‘neuroplasticity’ and the fact that ‘new ways of thinking can be learned’ may sound kinda scary at first but think of it this way – Your brain is flexible and can go through change for the better!

The main goal of cognitive behavioral therapy techniques is to identify what triggers specific reactions or patterns of behavior and emotion.

When both parties understand the nature of this, the individual can understand themselves better and create focal/reference points for when such situations arise in the future.

In doing so, the individual becomes more aware in the moment of occurrence, and it’s kind of like that “HA!” lightbulb clicks, thus enabling you to break the pattern of the otherwise automatic reaction.

Now, a cognitive behavioral therapy techniques session isn’t a time when you’ll emotionally spill everything and trigger the same old, dysfunctional patterns in your brain.

This leads to a dead end.

Instead, you and your healthcare professional work as a team to get into a feedback loop that helps you analyze the problem, break it down into pieces, and finally, create meaningful changes.

Important Consideration in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Meaning

Unlike many other conventional forms of coaching, the individual going through cognitive behavioral therapy techniques is not just a passive listener.

As a matter of fact, the therapist is just the trigger for the active, change-inducing processes that happen in the client’s head.

This here means that both the professional and the client communicate about the core of the issue that needs addressing, leading to conclusions and realizations about the problem at hand.

These important conclusions and the “HA!” moments we mentioned (what some professionals refer to as “Eurika!” moments) create a meaningful change in the clients’ mindset.

When To Consider Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Meaning

If you’ve ever been plagued by negative thoughts or found yourself in a cycle of self-destructive behaviors, you may have wondered about cognitive behavioral therapy techniques (CBT). 

And yes! In such cases, cognitive behavioral therapy techniques can be one of the most effective forms of therapy for treating anxiety and depression and can be used to address a wide range of issues. 

Nevertheless, even if you don’t have serious problems that lower your quality of life but just want to improve the latter, cognitive behavioral therapy techniques are always a good idea.

Because we all hold on to dysfunctional, old belief systems, thoughts and behaviors, none of us have a perfectly calibrated life.

If you notice that your mindset towards some things is potentially toxic, then you, too, can address this with a cognitive behavioral techniques professional!

Final Thoughts

Whether you have significant anxiety issues that impact your daily life, or you are just starting to notice some potentially toxic behaviors of yours, cognitive behavioral therapy techniques are a perfect option!

This therapy’s innate ability to create lasting change through a feedback loop on a mindset level is exactly what made it so popular and proven effective!

What do YOU think about CBT, and have you tried it? Share your experience with us!

Read More 

8 ways to deal with Cognitive Distortion

5 Simple Steps to Make it a Great Day

Meditation path to building your confidence

A Pattern Seeking Brain – Ways to Improve Brain Function

A patient story of Complementary Health Support

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