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Valuable Skills You Can Gain With Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Training

By Stuart

If a friend confides to you that they're "seeing a therapist" it is quite likely the picture that comes to mind is your friend either sitting on a comfy chair or lying down on a couch across from a counselor (who may bear a suspicious resemblance to Sigmund Freud) who nods every now and then as your friend talks about their troubles.  In the world of psychology, this is often referred to as "talk therapy."  This particular scenario represents something called "psychodynamic talk therapy."

Psychodynamic talk therapy seeks to discover why we behave or feel the way we do.    For instance, if someone has a history of repeatedly entering into relationships with abusive partners, the counselor will have that patient talk about those relationships as well as other relationships and life events.  Each session delves deeper into what the underlying "why" causing the trouble might be.  The thinking is that uncovering the why behind negative patterns of behavior or dysfunctional thoughts and emotions will result in breaking those patterns and introduce more positive thoughts and emotions.

What is often seen as a problem with psychodynamic talk therapy is that the process quite often takes a very long time - sometimes years.

Don't Ask Why

There is another type of talk therapy called cognitive behavior therapy (CBT).  Cognitive behavior therapy isn't interested in why someone might behave, or think, or feel a certain way.  Instead, the goal of CBT is to train the mind to replace negative patterns of behavior as well as dysfunctional thoughts or emotions with realistic, useful, and positive behaviors and thinking.  In other words, CBT works to help people develop or improve life-enhancing skills.

For example, CBT training might include keeping a journal of events and the feelings, thoughts, or behaviors that these events trigger.  Keeping a diary might not appear to be an important life skill, however, doing so provides the opportunity to develop the skill to question what CBT therapists call the "dysfunctional assumptions" and "automatic thoughts" that impede our ability to lead a positive, productive, and meaningful lives.

CBT training also includes teaching coping skills.  For instance, a person may be very lonely yet doesn't socialize because they are shy.  The very thought of going to a party or other social event is a cause for great anxiety.  CBT will encourage this person to socialize even though it makes them feel anxious.  A common result is that the person will discover that avoiding what makes them anxious only adds to their anxiety.  Consistently exposing themselves to social situations gradually improves their ability to cope which, in turn, alleviates their loneliness and decreases their level of anxiety.

Get Unstuck

Cognitive behavioral training also promotes improved problem solving skills.  Underscoring cognitive behavioral training is the idea that it is a person's dysfunctional assumptions and automatic thoughts - in other words, a person's thinking - that limit a person's ability behave in ways that solve problems.  Dysfunctional assumptions and negative automatic thoughts serve to perpetuate or create problems.  A person's thoughts can literally get them "stuck" into a continuous loop of behaving in ways that maintain rather than solve life's problems.

Questioning automatic thoughts and dysfunctional assumptions, learning to cope, as well as better problem solving are all skills that cognitive behavior therapy addresses.  

About the Author

Visit Innovation with Substance to learn more about Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Training.


The above guest post is published based on the premise that it will be helpful and informative. The opinions made within it are those of the author and not of The links you may find within this post do not necessarily imply our recommendation or endorsement of the views expressed within them.


Gct says:

Does CBT therapy helps with depression?

sunny says:

Let me first say that I am not an expert in psychology. Your question should probably be answered by Stuart whose expert article, in fact, this text is. That said, to give you my 2 cents, I think that CBT could be an efficient treatment for depression. Why? Because your mood is related to your thoughts. The negative thoughts you have predispose your personal world, your behavior and your emotions. The way you think, the mental concepts you have, all that affects your emotional world, in a positive or negative way. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you recognize your negative thought patterns and change them. I, personally, would combine CBT with meditation and/or other personal development methods for even better results in fighting depression.

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