COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY (CBT)
CBT is ALWAYS based on collaboration and common sense. CBT is about thinking about why we think the way we do and then we try to say something like: “Is there another way to think about …” or “Can I disagree with what I believe to be true in order to make my life better?” In order to do this, CBT always encourages collaboration between the therapist and the client. It is based on client determination, with the therapist acting as a guide. Whenever the client or the therapist feel they need to address or rewrite goals, or switch topics or change direction, it must be done in a working together like a team. According to Dr. Beck, who developed CBT, telling a client something or telling them what they must do, violates the prime directive – collaborative empiricism. Collaborative empiricism demonstrates how a CBT therapist will mutually work together with their client; they observe together as a team to identify the client’s common goals and explore their presenting issues. It is this process that is the engendering agent of change through CBT.
If you are considering CBT as a possible therapeutic approach that might work for you, then think about how it is a problem-solving style that not only helps you, but it teaches you skills and exercises that actually work. And if you don’t like talking about your past, well that’s great because CBT therapists are happy to stay in the present. So childhood or past events are only used to understand where the client’s beliefs and ways of doing things come from. That information is applied to the problems clients are having now.
- Here are some general questions client’s might want to consider as they question their need to access assistance.
- What have you already tried to help yourself?
- Do you have any self-help techniques that you relied on before? Are they still working?
- Are your concerns or troubles interfering with your daily activities?
- Have you stopped doing what you enjoyed doing in the past?
- Are you stuck? Are you becoming so afraid you don’t want to go out?
- Are you having emotions and feelings that are overwhelming you?
Remember the foundation of CBT is “You feel the way you think” and it can be flipped so “You think the way you feel.” And all of that affects your behaviour, how you act and what you do. Change your thinking, and your feelings and you are able to create a more effective and productive life.