All of our therapists are offering online counselling at this time!

COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), is one of the most commonly used techniques among mental health practitioners. When done consistently and correctly, CBT can be a powerful tool to combat the symptoms of anxiety, depression, trauma, and other mental and emotional health concerns. Some of the most common conditions treated with CBT are OCD, intrusive thoughts, social anxiety, bipolar disorders, eating disorders, panic attacks, PTSD, specific phobias, substance use disorders, generalized anxiety disorders, and more. 


Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is a relatively short term (usually 12-20 sessions) technique to essentially reprogram your brain and behaviour to overcome negative thoughts and behaviours that do not serve you. CBT gives you the tools to manage your negative thoughts, beliefs and emotions and redirect your brain towards a more positive and manageable outlook. Our behaviour can be changed by self-monitoring, activity scheduling, and exposure to stimuli and changing our response to it.


We encounter a lot of stressful events throughout the day. 5:00 PM rush hour, a demanding boss, a pile of homework, or a fight with your partner can trigger negative thoughts and emotions. Your feelings are valid. It’s okay to feel stressed, angry, anxious, or depressed after an emotionally charged event or situation, so don’t discredit them. This therapy aims to get you to access those beliefs and teaches you to redirect your thinking and behaviour. 


CBT can be performed in a multitude of ways. Your therapist may give you written homework or activities which detail the steps of CBT and how to apply it to stressful or triggering situations. Additionally, worksheets can be given to you by your counsellor to help you practice the steps of cognitive behaviour therapy. There may be a behavioural component to the practices and the issue you are trying to overcome. Whatever the case, your therapist will guide you with a high level of care and attunement through the in session and homework practices. This therapy is for you if you are interested in taking an active role in your therapeutic process. 


Some examples of negative thoughts or emotions are embarrassment, shame, anxiety, helplessness, anger, sadness, or frustration. As you are reading this page, you may notice that you may be experiencing some of those feelings at this moment. We can feel multiple emotions about one situation, and that’s okay! Sometimes we don’t even notice our emotions and are preoccupied in our own self defeating thoughts. “I am always messing everything up, I’m a failure” or “They must hate me because I always make mistakes”. At other times, we notice that we may just engage in behaviours and habits that are problematic for our well being. CBT is a form of therapy that can address issues, thoughts, beliefs, and behaviour in a methodical and measurable manner.

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© Life in Harmony at Vaughan Counselling Center 2020