What to expect from CBT Therapy
Active Self Help for Depression, Anxiety and Stress
Are you thinking about CBT therapy? If so this short introduction should help you understand what to expect and what you are likely to gain.
Dr David Purves is the clinical director of the Berkshire Psychology Service and explains that all psychotherapy, counseling, or any kind of therapy really does is provide a little help in overcoming a problem or problems you have not been able to overcome yourself. There is no shame in that, and the benefits you are likely to gain from therapy are substantial.
All you have to do is to open your mind to the possibility of an interesting and useful experience, and that is what you should receive. The most popular form of psychotherapy these days is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT therapy.
CBT therapy is a great way of challenging and changing unhelpful thinking and behavior processes. It really works to ensure that things work out as you want them to, rather than some other outcome that you don’t want to have.
Visiting a therapist
When you first visit a good therapist, you will talk for a short while, chatting about what has been happening. However, quite quickly, a good therapist will start to make links between what you are experiencing and the psychological reasons for it.
This process allows you to see why things are happening as they are. And, it yields options for making things different. CBT therapy provides a framework for you to think differently about your experiences. You can learn to see things differently, and thereby, experience things differently.
Benefits of CBT therapy
You will become more in control of your destiny than you may ever have imagined. CBT puts you back in touch with your power to make your life shape up and give you more of what you want.
The process of changing your life is one of making a series of small steps that lead you gradually in the direction you want to go.
The first step, therefore, is to determine where you are. You may experience stress, depression, separation anxiety, or other symptoms of anxiety, but that is only the consequence of the real problem.
The art of good therapy is getting to the real problem and changing that. Then, the consequences of the real problem, the symptoms of anxiety, depression, stress, or other disorders, will become less problematic, and eventually disappear.
Dealing with negative beliefs
As an example, negative beliefs are usually an important component of the problems you struggle with, and can often be thought of as the causes of many other unpleasant experiences. To have those brought out in the open and available for challenge is a really good and progressive step for the early sessions of therapy.
In therapy, you are very well placed to be able to challenge, change, and rectify negative beliefs, releasing you from your current problems.
Of course, there are many varied and substantial problems that can lower mood and create fear, stress, depression, separation anxiety, panic, and other uncomfortable symptoms. But, once again, it is the way that you interpret these symptoms that determines how much trouble they really are in your life.
You have overcome many problems in your life so far, maybe even problems that seemed more substantial than those you face now. You are probably very good at problem solving. For some reason, though, the current problems may be defeating your personal problem-solving capacities. But, that is only temporary.
Through the process of therapy, you will regain all and more of your problem-solving capabilities, and once again feel ready to take on and overcome life’s regular hurdles. There is very little that needs remain a mystery after just 60 minutes of talking with a good therapist.
I hope you find this information useful.
CBT Therapy exercises
There are CBT exercises that you can begin right now, without a therapist, in my Active Self Help for Depression, Anxiety and Stress section.