What You Need to Know About Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

March 23, 2014

Cognitive therapy is a method where the therapist explores how thoughts and perceptions affect you. For example, if you mess up a certain task, you might begin to think you could never do it right. Further, you might also think that messing up other things reinforces your original mistake. This rapidly snowballing effect is commonly known as the self-fulfilling prophecy. A cognitive therapist will try to help you weed out the bad thoughts and not only accomplish the original task but also overcome other past and future failures by giving you the right ammunition.

Behavioral therapy bases itself on learned behaviors and conditioned responses. The main idea is: Something happens to you, and you create false ideas about it. For example, after getting punched in the gut by someone you tried to hug, you might start mistrusting anyone who wants to hug you.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy combines these two approaches. It asks you not only to think about your “thinking” but also about how your thoughts affect your behavior. You, as the patient, develop ways to avoid destructive thoughts and methods for assessing your behavior. You’ll also learn the difference between an irrational fear of a perceived outcome and the actual outcome of a certain behavior. The best example of this is exposure therapy. For example, if you’re afraid of cats, the therapist puts you on a sofa next to a cat so that you can see the cat for what it is and not what you think it is.

If you need this kind of help, Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C. is just what the doctor ordered. Contact us today.

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