Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most popular forms of psychotherapy available today. One of the reasons for this has to do with the fact that it is a highly evidence-based therapy for many issues including anxiety, anger, depression, ADHD, insomnia and trauma. Its popularity is helped too by the fact that it is a pragmatic, sensible, and fast to implement approach. CBT just makes sense.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is a versatile approach that emphasizes the power of changing thinking and behaviour to produce significant change in your life. On the surface, CBT can sometimes appear a simplistic approach ("Change my thinking, you say? Okay, I will now think only positive thoughts and all will be well!").
Despite its appearances, CBT is an advanced and highly technical psychotherapy approach with much to offer. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy can help you learn more effective ways of dealing with problematic thinking processes, skills to regulate emotions, and new ways to act in challenging situations.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in action
Thoughts, feelings, and behaviour are the building blocks of CBT - and of daily life. Consider the following example:
Mark is driving along a busy stretch of highway already running late to work on his morning commute. Out of nowhere, a red sports car switches lanes and cuts Mark off. Mark is livid (FEELING). He thinks to himself, "What an idiot! He could have almost killed me! I'll show him..." (THOUGHT) Mark accelerates his car in pursuit of the driver of the red sports car, to 'show him.' (BEHAVIOUR).
Consider how a change in any of the following elements could potentially impact how Mark handles this situation and the real world consequences that would ensue respectively.
When Mark starts noticing his body tensing up and anger starting to flare, he engages in Coherence Breathing to ease physical tension and activate a calmer feeling-state.
When Mark notices the thought, "What an idiot! He could have almost killed me. I'll show him..." he acknowledges the thought as a natural automatic response to a frightening situation and reminds himself that while giving chase to the red car would provide some tension relief and vindication in the short-term, in the long-term he will end up in a worse and potentially more dangerous situation.
When Mark feels the impulse to give chase to the red sports car, he instead turns on his favourite radio station or playlist to give him something to do and focus on instead.
All of the above strategies would fall under the umbrella of cognitive-behavioral interventions and would be likely quite helpful for Mark given the situation he encountered. Mark would be in a position to practice any of the alternative strategies following having already experience significant practice, coaching, and planning with a cognitive-behavioral therapist.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy includes techniques and strategies to help individuals make important shifts in their life in each moment and over the long-term to help them meet their goals for counselling and psychotherapy. To learn more about how CBT may help you or to book a session (online anywhere in Ontario or in-person in Toronto), click below.