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What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that combines analysis of thought process (cognitive) with behavior. The ultimate goal of CBT is to change negative patterns of thinking or behavior to allow for more positive emotions.

CBT helps to make sense of unbearable problems by breaking them down into smaller, easier-to-handle parts. These problems are broken down into five primary areas:

  1. Thoughts
  2. Emotions
  3. Feelings, including physical
  4. Situations
  5. Actions or behaviors

CBT sessions acknowledge that all five areas are all connected and affect one another. For example, your thoughts about a given situation can affect you emotionally and physically, which then leads to how you respond in your action or behavior.

Core Principles of CBT

CBT deals with what is going on in a person’s current life. The problems a person is having is believed to be based on the following:

  1. Negative thoughts
  2. Learned patterns of harmful behavior

CBT teaches a person better ways of coping with unfavorable thoughts which will lead to a happier and more productive life.

How CBT Changes Thinking Patterns

Thinking patterns are the core of what cognitive behavioral therapy is, and changing them involves strategies, including:

  • Recognizing the negative thinking that is creating the problem
  • Developing a greater sense of confidence
  • Understanding other people’s behavior and motivation
  • Learning problem-solving skills to deal with difficult situations

How CBT Changes Behavior Patterns

  • Facing fears instead of avoiding them
  • Learning how to calm the mind and relax the body
  • Role-playing to prepare for potential problematic interactions with others

Treatment Benefits of CBT

The goals of cognitive behavioral therapy include helping those suffering from mental health ailments, some of which include:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Panic attacks
  • Phobias
  • Sleep disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Depression
  • PTSD

Steps Involved in a CBT Session

What cognitive behavioral therapy is involves a few typical steps.

  • Identify the negative situation or condition which could include:
  • Evaluate thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that occur from the negative situation
    • Finding out it is not the event or situation that is upsetting us, but rather the meaning we give them.
    • When adverse events occur, it is our reaction that makes the situation worse.
  • Identify negative or distorted thinking
    • This process will help in seeing the patterns of behavior and thinking that are contributing to the problem.
    • Recognize the emotional, physical and behavioral responses that occur
  • Alter negative or faulty thinking
    • Asking yourself if your thoughts are based on fact or an inaccurate perception
    • If this has been a long-standing problem, this step may take some time to work through.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Versus Other Forms of Psychotherapy?

  • Practical – CBT approaches issues in a no-nonsense manner by identifying specific problems.
  • Focusing on the Present – Rather than delving into past issues that brought you to this place of negativity, CBT is primarily concerned with your present thinking and behavior.
  • A Joint Effort – CBT has you work with your therapist to find logical and reasonable solutions.
  • Setting Goals – In a CBT session, you will be able to discuss the specific goals you want to achieve.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Going to Teach You?

With CBT, you will learn how to think and feel better in your daily life, including:

  • Developing a more positive way of seeing and thinking about a given situation
  • The ability to distinguish between facts and irrational thoughts
  • Being able to see a given circumstance from a different perspective
  • The ability to face fears instead of avoiding them
  • Focusing on how things are rather than how you think they should be
  • How to stop fearing the worst

We know cognitive behavioral therapy works, because we see how it can change our clients’ lives for the better. Learning how to put a stop to the negative thinking that can, if not addressed, spiral out-of-control leading to other problems down the road such as depression or even worse. By making issues more manageable and simple, we reduce their power over us and the way we feel improves.

So, what is cognitive-behavioral therapy? It is a simple approach to changing your life for the better. At Miami Hypnosis and Therapy, we offer a wide range of treatments, including CBT, along with neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and hypnotherapy. By utilizing an integrative blend of different forms of therapy, we help you achieve your goals at a faster rate.

Each client is unique, and we believe that the treatment plan should also reflect that, so we tailor-make a specific plan to fit individual needs. No matter what is holding you back in life, take that first step to living the life you deserve, and book your appointment today!


Behavioral Therapy Works

Anna Marchenko

Anna Marchenko, LMHC, M.A., Ed.M. is the principal therapist at Miami Hypnosis and Therapy. She holds a bachelor's degree from NYU and dual masters degrees from Columbia University. Marchenko’s hypnosis certification is from the only hypnosis program in Florida that has been certified by the state’s Board of Education. She helps her clients by utilizing an integrative approach to psychotherapy, tailored to each individual’s mental health journey, drawing from hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, NLP therapy, EMDR, and more.

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