What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy? Is it Right for You?

Some people avoid therapy because it feels too passive. They struggle to see the value in sitting across from a person and talking about their life in hopes of pinpointing the root causes of their problems. They know their issues already (or at least some of them), and they want to take action to overcome them.

If that’s you or someone you know, then cognitive behavioral therapy might be the answer you’re looking for.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (or CBT) is a science driven, action-oriented method that has become increasingly popular in counseling. It starts by identifying negative thoughts and behaviors and transforming them into positive ones through various strategies.

Initially used to deal with depression, CBT has become a proven way to deal with anxiety, self-image, and much more.

How CBT Works

CBT is a treatment that relies on the implementation of coping strategies to combat problems in a person’s life. It starts by breaking a situation or problem into thoughts, feelings, and behavior.

In any given situation, you have a certain thought or viewpoint of what’s happening.

How you view an event or situation causes a certain emotional response within you. From that emotional response, an action is made. Often, the action is to avoid confrontation.

By examining the cycle of events in a particular situation, you and your therapist can determine areas of negativity. From there, strategies are implemented to counter-act the negative actions or feelings with positive ones, making you feel empowered while facing your problems head on.

photo by Tiago Bandeira

It Sounds Nice in Theory, but Does it Really Work?

Yes. In fact, CBT is heavily driven by research, evidence, and a scientific approach of formulating a method, testing it, and modifying it as needed.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy incorporates various, well-tested strategies that are shown to be effective in situations similar to your own.

For example, one common CBT technique is thought recording.

People dealing with anxiety, depression, or self-consciousness tend to focus on the negative.  When recalling their week to a friend or counselor, they may think everyone ignored them, that nothing positive happened, etc.

But by keeping records throughout the week, they can look back and remember a compliment they received or a fun moment they had. This positivity can give them confidence going into their next week, causing them to be more outgoing and interactive with those around them.

This is just a small piece of what CBT can look like.

Finding a CBT Therapist You Can Trust

CBT often gets criticized for being too “by-the-numbers”, offering pre-built solutions that may bring short-term relief but doesn’t dig into the core of the problem. Some even write it off as the therapy equivalent of a shallow self-help book.

However, with the help of the right therapist, CBT has been shown to be very effective, not just in your immediate situations, but over a long period of time. It also tends to work much faster than traditional therapy sessions.

The key is to find a counselor whom you can connect with and trust.

While that may sound difficult, it doesn’t have to be. With Torrch, you can find a counselor or therapist right in your area that’s experienced in your needs. You even get to connect with them before your first session is scheduled.

Best of all, Torrch is free to use. Create a profile today, and take your first step towards facing your problems head on.

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