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How does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Experts have referred to CBT as the gold standard of psychotherapy. CBT is a psychological intervention with proactive treatment. Essentially, cognitive behavioral therapy works by training practitioners to challenge negative thoughts with positive truths, Cognitive behavioral therapy methods revolve around forming habits to take ownership of feelings and beliefs through behaviors of positive reinforcement.

How does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?

Cognitive behavioral therapy works through a close relationship between you and your therapist, where you will be actively applying psychoanalytic principles and customized methods in order to facilitate progressively healthier thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

In contrast to other methods of psychoanalytic therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy emphasizes using the present to work towards the future as opposed to prioritizing an understanding of the past to understand the present.

Put simply, CBT works through action towards forward motion to improve your quality of life.

Understanding how cognitive behavioral therapy works involves recognizing what goes into a typical experience with this psychological treatment. Keep reading to explore the therapeutic methods and the steps of CBT!

What are some Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Methods?

We’ve found that the best application for CBT methods are integrative rather than an isolated approach. Our effective, blended application of CBT also draws from modalities like neuro-linguistic programming and hypnotherapy.

At Miami Hypnosis and Therapy, we also consider the cognitive psychology approach. This involves working with our mental health professional, who studies human thought processes, investigating her patient’s cognition based on scientific evidence. After cognitive psychology sessions, therapists then recommend specific activities and exercises tailored to counter the negative thought processes and replace them with positive solutions.

In general, no matter the specific psychoanalytic applications employed, how cognitive behavioral therapy works hinges on how the counselor and her client work together to reach the individual’s goals. These efforts to shift thinking and behavioral patterns may include working on facing rather than avoiding fears, practical strategies to calm the mind and relax the body, and developing confidence in one’s own abilities or recognizing sources of satisfaction in one’s own life.

CBT also leverages the power of role-playing to prepare for using problem-solving skills for difficult situations and in forming the habit to challenge negative thoughts with positive truths. These methods center on learning to recognize and then reevaluate problematic, distorted thought habits.

Role-playing can also help those using CBT to gain a better understanding of others’ behaviors and motivations, as opposed to continuing with their own often erroneous preconceptions about those around them.

Obviously, not all these methods are useful in every circumstance. Cognitive behavorial therapy methods may vary, but all CBT remains aimed at changing perceptions to positively affect behavior and mood. What’s important is finding a therapist who strives to create 100% trailer-made treatment plans that align with your mental and behavioral health goals.

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What are the steps of CBT?

While the steps of CBT range significantly depending on individual circumstance and treatment goals, most of the time, Cognitive behavioral therapy follows a general pattern of one-on-one therapy sessions paired with relevant assignments. That “homework” will then be addressed in follow-up during the next therapy session.

These “homework” assignments are critical: rather than relying only on a therapist, medicine, or other similar external sources of therapy, CBT practitioners learn to use strategies to provide therapy to themselves. How cognitive therapy works depends largely on you, the client, being an active participant in your therapeutic journey.

Steps of CBT mainly include:

  • One-on-one therapy sessions
  • Frequent feedback
  • Homework assignments. These assignments usually involve keeping some kind of a regular written record that is focused on cognitive behavior, which may range from a gratitude journal to lists of negative beliefs to challenge with positive truths.

During this process, those following the steps of CBT form new, empowering habits to challenge or restate negative or inaccurate thoughts in order to re-shape their problem-solving abilities in a positive light. In recognizing how to rethink and reevaluate their perception of the world, following the steps of CBT can instill a more balanced, less reactive awareness of the world both within and outside of the mind. The goal is to take ownership of feelings and thoughts to positively affect perception and behavior.

How do I know if CBT is a good fit for me?

Now that you understand how cognitive behavioral therapy works, you may be wondering if this treatment would be a good fit for you. CBT is a valuable asset for anyone looking to help navigate life, whether it’s how to process stress more effectively or working through a deeper concern.

If you think CBT sounds like it could help you, we at Miami Hypnosis and Therapy are here for you. With Miami Hypnosis and Therapy, you’ll find up-to-date practices and therapy methods that you can personalize to your own needs and experiences through our professional custom-made treatment programs created individually by our lead practitioner. Find your clearer path by contacting us today.

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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