In simple terms, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an approach to psychotherapy which serves to identify and explore patterns of thinking and behaving which are contributing to a problematic emotional state.
With the help of a psychologist, the individual explores these thoughts and behaviours for the presence of inaccuracy, troublesome bias or distortion, before reconstructing more helpful and accurate ones.
In our world we are constantly making sense of our experiences. We draw meaning, infer truths, and make evaluations based about the information we collect through all of our senses – sight, sound, touch, taste, smell.
How we interpret and respond to the events in our lives shape, in many ways, the practical and emotional outcomes of those experiences and events.
Sometimes, particularly during difficult or stressful periods, our pattern of thoughts and behaviours may become such that they are contributing to, intensifying, or causing a range of negative, distressing and undesirable outcomes for us.
Examine Your Thinking!
These biased and often inaccurate patterns of thought and unhelpful behaviours are certainly not intentional, and are almost always invisible to us. Nonetheless they can cause a very real and confounding decline into a negative emotional state, undermine coping abilities and isolate us from social supports.
It is not about wishful thinking, or a denial of reality – conversely is about trying to discern actual evidence and fact, from inappropriate ‘meanings’ or ‘inaccurate conclusions’, correcting the distortions or faulty thinking, supporting the individual to accept the reality as it actually is, and where possible engaging in some appropriate problem solving strategies.
CBT for Depression and Anxiety
A Cognitive Behavioural Therapeutic orientation encompasses a range of specific counselling and clinical techniques and approaches and has been found to be extremely useful in a range of contexts and emotional disturbances – particularly with depression and anxiety.
Author: Ainsley Salsbury, BA (Psych), Post Grad. Dip. App. Psych, BBus (HRM).
Ainsley Salsbury is a registered psychologist who is passionate about working with clients to identify, explore and address the factors which are frustrating them in their attempts to achieve their work and life goals. She works within a Cognitive Behavioural framework, Ainsley tailors creative, customised and solution focussed approaches to individual and group counselling.
To book an appointment with Ainsley please call 1800 877 924 or book online now!