Effective Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Techniques

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The term “cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques” may seem clinical and intimidating. But as many who have worked with a mental health professional will tell you, these techniques really just add up to a constructive and productive conversation.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) says that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a way of uncovering negative “exaggerated or biased ways of thinking” and then reforming those thoughts and behavior patterns.

The Focus of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Techniques

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a general term for a whole category of counseling. A specific therapist, though, might use any of the following specific therapy types (or a blend of them):

These are just a few of the various CBT techniques your mental health professional can choose.

General Principles of CBT

CBT techniques should include these 5 elements:

  • Brief and Time-Limited
  • Present Centered: focused on the here and now
  • Thought-Focused
  • Using Practice and Homework
  • Depending on a Good Therapeutic Relationship

The combination of these building blocks can help you start to build a new life based on clear and healthy thoughts. This can guide your behaviors toward happy and self-supportive activities.

What to Expect from CBT

Your CBT sessions, particularly in the beginning, are kind of like Q&A sessions. Don’t think of your session as an interrogation; think of it as a guide. The questions and answers are like Google Maps of your therapy, helping lead you to a healthy destination.

For example, you may be asked or given homework that includes questions like:

  • Was there a time in the past when this problem was not a problem?
  • If you have faced this problem before, how did you successfully overcome it?
  • When faced with a problem or obstacle, how do you usually deal with it?
  • What was the most difficult problem you have ever overcome, and how did you do it?

Your CBT should be focusing on your strengths to help you reform negative thoughts and rebuild yourself. You may even want to post a list of your strengths in strategic places for those moments when your old patterns creep in.

Contact Summit Malibu

Cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques are examples of the many successful and creative treatment services offered at Summit Malibu. Contact us today for more information about CBT and to discuss your mental wellness concerns.