Skip to content

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

Nancy MacGregor MA, ATR-BC, LPC, ACS, Clinical Director

What is cognitive behavioral therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common type of therapy. It helps you learn how to identify and change negative thoughts that impact your behavior and emotions. By identifying these negative thoughts, you’ll be able to see difficult situations in a different light and respond to them in a more positive way.

CBT can be beneficial for everyone, not just those with mental health disorders. It can also be combined with other types of therapeutic treatments as well as prescription medications.

What can I expect to learn through CBT?

Through CBT, you can expect to learn a lot about yourself and how your thoughts impact your life. However, it is more than just focusing on your thought patterns.

Through CBT you may learn how to:

  • Identify problems and negative thoughts
  • Become aware of automatic thoughts
  • Understand the difference between facts and irrational thoughts
  • Establish goals
  • Face your own fears
  • Accept rather than judge
  • See how past experiences affect current beliefs

The skills that you learn during CBT are skills that you can and should implement into your day-to-day life.

Tools a therapist uses in cognitive behavioral therapy

There are different strategies that your therapist may have you try out to see what works and what doesn’t. Everyone is different and something that works for one person might not necessarily be the right fit for another.

Here are some examples:

Journaling – this is a great way to identify the types of recurring thoughts that pop up in your head. You and your therapist can work together to take the negative thoughts and see what positive alternatives you can substitute. By writing things down, you can also keep track of any goals that you set for yourself during CBT.

Guided discovery – your therapist will take the time to understand your point-of-view and can ask questions that may challenge your beliefs and expand your way of thinking. This can help you see things from a perspective that you might not have initially considered.

Relaxation techniques – deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and imagery can all help you reduce stress and regain a sense of control over a particular situation.

Role-playing – by playing out different scenarios, you’ll be able to take time to think through your thoughts and responses and work on how you would like to react versus how you would normally respond.

Problem-solving – can help reduce the negative impact of life’s stressors by identifying and solving the problem head-on. In CBT, problem-solving typically includes five steps:

  1. Identifying the problem
  2. Creating a list of possible solutions
  3. Evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of each possible solution
  4. Choosing a solution to implement
  5. Implementing a solution

What mental health conditions can CBT treat?

CBT can help anyone dealing with stress, grief, complicated relationships, or mental health conditions. Some mental health conditions CBT can treat include:

  • Anxiety
  • Phobias
  • Panic disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Social anxiety or phobia
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Schizophrenia

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Near Me

Harmony Bay Wellness has therapists in Southern New Jersey that specialize in different treatment options, including CBT. If this is something that sounds like a good fit for you, contact us today at [Direct]. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

Treatment with Harmony Bay

Harmony Bay is an outpatient behavioral health service that offers primary mental health treatment for a variety of mental health disorders. Our mission is to make mental health care convenient and affordable while providing an unmatched experience to our clients. contact us today by calling 855.765.6399.