Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
In Cognitive behavioral therapy, the therapist and client work together to examine the client’s present situation instead of analyzing how a client’s childhood experiences might have contributed to their current distress. The therapy is generally short term and solution focused with an agenda set together at the beginning of each session. In addition to understanding how thoughts are connected to feelings and behaviors, the client also learns how to see distorted patterns in their thinking and examine the validity of their thoughts. What they perceive as others’ motivation is also explored.
The behavioral aspect consists of engaging in behavioral experiments to test the accuracy of their thoughts about self, others, and events and to confront their fears. Activities that increase pleasure or relaxation are also encouraged, such as socializing, exercising, and meditation. Finally, client’s symptoms are periodically assessed to track progress and adjust treatment accordingly. Numerous studies have shown CBT to be as effective or more effective than other forms of therapy or psychiatric medication.