Cognitive therapy focuses on one’s thought patterns as they relate to how one feels as well as the experience of emotional distress. One’s beliefs can be quite automatic and can result in a great deal of impairment and diminished quality of life. The basic premise of Cognitive Therapy is that we find ourselves to be upset as a consequence of faulty beliefs and perceptions that we have of ourselves, others and the world around us. Additionally, we all have specific core beliefs that are deeply ingrained and guide our emotional experiences. When these beliefs are inaccurate or skewed in some manner, Cognitive Therapy can teach specific skills to develop a more adaptive belief system. CT has been researched extensively and has been demonstrated to be highly effective across various disorders, cultures and age groups. It can be a very powerful treatment.
This form of treatment initially teaches individuals to be aware of their thinking and then to challenge and find alternatives to their upsetting thoughts. It is a highly effective treatment with lasting results. Therapy is generally brief and focused on the here and now. Although past experiences contribute to the development of one’s beliefs, and it is, at times, important to explore past history, within the cognitive framework, we stay oriented in the present. Both therapist and client are actively engaged in goal setting, learning of new skills and the application of these in their day to day life. Treatment offers the skills to be able to deal with current difficulties while also reframing the past in a healthy manner.
Depending on the particular issue, one can start to feel better within the first few sessions. As treatment continues, we focus on generalization of skills and when appropriate, independent functioning. Individuals are provided with extensive tools to manage life’s challenges and to feel empowered.
Cognitive Therapy includes the following:
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