CBT, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy-The Basics

CBT, or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, is a therapy approach for anxiety, depression and other concerns.  The approach is evidence-based, developed through research and science.

CBT, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Science shows that Cognitve Behavioural Therapy is effective in managing anxiety.  Below are the basic principles.

CBT involves learning new ways of thinking and behaving. Applying it to anxiety and depression also involves a number of basic tenets.

Focusing on the Present

Rather than focusing on the cause(s) of the problem, CBT involves paying attention to what is happening in the moment, in the “now”.

Understanding the root of the anxiety can be useful, however fundamentally CBT focuses on dealing with challenging everyday symptoms and circumstances.

You will focus on getting clear about your thinking and behaving patterns and styles that are not useful or helpful.  With anxiety, CBT will introduce ways of changing negative and anxious thinking.  A classic tool for CBT is a worksheet known as a “thought record”. This worksheet involves recording situations, behaviours, thoughts and feelings.  Over a short time, patterns will emerge. These patterns are then targeted for “recalibration” to more realistic and viable thinking.

The way someone thinks in a given situation directly affects how he/she feels and behaves. So, changing how you think, also helps in changing how you feel and act.

Part of the Action is also doing Homework

Homework is a cornerstone of anxiety management.  The homework is structured and very clearly applied to encourage and develop new skills.

Doing the homework is critical in developing new reactions, skills and behaviours when dealing with anxiety.  Just like joining a fitness gym, where you need to actually do the physical exercises to see the results physically (otherwise it doesn’t happen), CBT requires one to exercise cognitive “muscles”. These homework assignments assist in developing strong habits.

And just like any other skill, the more you use it, the easier it gets.  Please note, that like in many endeavours, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. The tools and strategies of CBT are similar. It is a method that is effective with anxiety management, stress reduction, depression and mood regulation.  In short, it works, but you’ve got to apply it regularly.

CBT, or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, is the ‘go-to’ counselling method for both anxiety and depression.  It is also applicable in many other mental health and couples issues. For more information about counselling, please contact info@waypointcounselling.ca, Counselling in Victoria, call/text 778-677-1960.

Waypoint Counselling is located in Greater Victoria, Langford, Colwood, Ladysmith and Nanaimo.