Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is often misunderstood as a therapy designed to help people “think positively”. This is in fact not the case. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a counselling technique designed to assist individuals to think realistically and to problem-solve challenging situations. It differs from other forms of therapy in that it is focused on ‘here and now’ issues rather than an extensive investigation of past historical issues in our lives.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is actually the combination of two forms of psychological treatment, namely Cognitive Therapy and Behavioural Therapy.
What is Cognitive Therapy
Cognitive Therapy is based on the idea that events in their own right do not cause our emotions, it is our thoughts about these events that trigger our emotions. In other words, it is not the event itself that causes our emotions but how we perceive the event. For example, two people may have just sat down at a table outside a café. The first person may think the weather is great and the café is good because it is busy, and subsequently feel happy. The second person, sitting at the same café may think the weather is too hot and the café is crowded, and as a result feel uncomfortable and restless: Same situation, two emotionally different outcomes.
Cognitive Therapy provides a range of techniques to manage our emotions. This is achieved by noticing and restructuring unrealistic thoughts. So in the example above the second person may challenge their initial thoughts with “yes this café is busy but it may mean the food and coffee are good”. As a result, the person may feel more settled. The profound point is that our mental health can be greatly increased by managing the negative thoughts that we may have about ourselves, others and our world.
Behavioural Therapy provides another set of very useful therapeutic skills to manage a range of emotional and behavioural issues. It appreciates that our behaviours are learnt, that they are heavily influenced by our environment, and that the likelihood of these behaviours happening again is directly related to variables that preceded and followed the behaviour.
Behavioural therapy is particularly useful in changing emotions and behaviours that occur automatically and unconsciously. These are the types of behaviours that do not respond even to the best of reasoning.
Phobias are a good example of the types of behaviours and emotions that are best treated with Behavioural Therapy. For example, one may be excessively anxious and avoidant of lifts even though they may reason that the lifts are likely to be safe. Again, one may be fearful and avoidant of offering even simple comments in a team work meeting despite knowing the staff.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has been demonstrated to be effective for a number of issues such as:
- Alcohol abuse
- Eating disorder
- Obsessive compulsive disorders
- Anger Management
- Relationship problems
The therapists at BlueSky Psychology are well trained and experienced in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. They can teach you a range of these techniques that have been shown to effectively manage your particular concerns. Lasting benefits can be obtained using this form of therapy in as little as 6 to 10 sessions, sometimes even fewer.
To speak with one of our therapists, call us on 08 8212 3944 or make a booking online.
BlueSky Psychology , Level 10, 108 King William Street, Adelaide, South Australia, 5000. Phone 08 8212 3944