Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a classification of psychotherapeutic techniques, which give importance to how our thoughts affect what we feel and how we do things. CBT treats a variety of psychological conditions such as anxiety, depression, personality problems, eating disorders, substance abuse, schizophrenia, etc.
Here is how to do cognitive behavioral therapy:
- Know all you can about cognitive behavioral therapy. You could find articles about CBT on the Internet. Visit websites about psychology and psychotherapy. You could also go to online groups and forums that discuss CBT. Find books about it in bookstores under the psychology section or read about it in psychology magazines. Better yet, go to a counselor, a psychologist or a psychotherapist and inquire about it.
- You could find CBT therapists by asking your psychologist or counselor. You could also look them up in directories or find them on the Internet via your search engine. Take a look also on websites about CBT and you will find contact information of cognitive behavioral therapists. Just make sure that you are meeting with a trained professional; do some background research first and read about feedback, testimonials and comments coming from clients.
- Choose the therapist, with whom you are comfortable working. CBT requires you to reveal intimate details about you as well as express your thoughts, emotions and your everyday experiences. If you can't connect with your therapist or if he intimidates, irritates or disappoints you in any way, or you just don't feel like working with your therapist, look for another one. The effectiveness of the therapies depends on how well you communicate with your therapist so choose one you can relate with well
- You could do CBT by your own. Know basic information as well as methods of this technique. You could find free information on the Internet or read about it from books. Just remember that going to a professional therapist is usually more effective. The advantage of self-treatment is that you can take charge of your thoughts, emotions and actions on your own. You can also cut expenses because psychotherapy doesn't come cheaply.
- If you're planning to do CBT by yourself, define your goals first. Set achievable goals so that you can see results and not waste your time and effort in doing something that can't be done. Assess your strengths and your weakness, as well as the things you could change about yourself and the things that you have to live with. Also, don't be contented to stick to one method because every method has its benefits as well as its limitations, and certain methods may be more effective to your condition than others. Remember that if you can't do it by yourself, seek the help of a therapist.
- There are a lot of cognitive behavioral therapies available and they have different effects on different people because each person has a unique set of beliefs, values, perceptions, opinions, experiences, knowledge, skills, traits, preferences, attitudes and environments. Take note of the effect cognitive behavioral therapy gives you and modify or maintain your routines accordingly.
Doing CBT is challenging and rewarding so prepare yourself for an intense experience. You can get additional guidance during the process by taking psychology classes online. Most importantly, don't block yourself from re-examining your thoughts and modifying your routines in order to get maximum results.