What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy also known as CBT is one of the most popular forms of psychotherapy used to treat anxiety related symptoms. CBT focuses on the way in which thought processes influence our emotions, physical reactions, and behaviors.

A CBT therapist will specifically work with a person to thoroughly understand their life path and what has influenced them to think the way they do up to their current day of life, this will ultimately tell a therapist what the person’s beliefs about life are (belief systems). A person’s belief systems are directly tied to the way they perceive and therefore think about life. These thoughts are directly linked to our overall emotional, behavioral, and physical health. For instance, imagine a time in life where you had to pep yourself up prior to doing something nerve wracking (public speaking, competition, life changing conversation). Before attending this nerve-wracking event, you may have told yourself over and over “I got this” to drown out the negative, imagine how this mantra changed your physical reactions (breath, heart rate), your behaviors (you did not run away! Yay!), and your emotions (felt more confident). This cycle of influence between emotion, behavior, and physical sensation is what CBT is all about!

Want to experience some CBT therapy homework?

Carry a notebook for 1 week. Record random events throughout your day by describing the event, the automatic thoughts you had, and your physical actions/behaviors taken. Reflect at the end of the week on this journal, what did you discern about your underlying beliefs?

Posted by Dominica Liscio