Have you ever thought about working with a therapist? Have you been in therapy for 10 years? You may be completely new to therapy or well-versed and still not understand the difference between therapies and how one treatment can be more effective than another.
For this blog, I am focusing on CBT; or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This is a treatment that works for so many diagnoses, for kids and adults, and has years of research backing its effectiveness. CBT works well for people who have depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance use problems, bipolar, psychosis, and more. This treatment has numerous studies exhibiting its effectiveness and can be more effective than medications and other therapies.
CBT can help you in a matter of weeks or months. This is a short-term treatment that is geared towards you becoming your own therapist. In CBT, you will learn about the relationship between your thoughts, behaviors, and emotions, and then learn to improve your emotions by challenging your thoughts and changing your behaviors.
You can see from the CBT triangle how therapy would focus on these three components. You would basically learn how to become a detective 🕵️♂️ 🕵️♀️ and search for alternative evidence and multiple interpretations that challenge your automatic thoughts. If I have the thought “nobody likes me”, your therapist will work with you to find evidence that challenges the thought and help you generate more accurate and helpful thoughts. You will also learn to be like a scientist 👩🔬 🥼 👨🔬 and test out hypotheses through behavioral experiments. You may feel as though you don’t find enjoyment in the things you once enjoyed (cooking, reading, going for a bike ride). You and your therapist will generate hypotheses about how you will feel and think after engaging in a new behavior. You will then test out the hypotheses out through the week with your detective skills. You will have homework in order to generalize the skills, so you will also be a student 👩🎓 👨🎓. (Basically, you will become a detective, student, scientist, and therapist!) Therapy make take 8 weeks or a few months, depending on what you are experiencing and the severity of your symptoms. You and your therapist will take an active role in improving your quality of life.
On a final note, make sure you interview your therapist and ask them how they do CBT- not all therapists who identify as CBT, actually do CBT!
You can also find CBT therapists using these links for certified CBT practitioners: