What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy CBT book and wooden head shape.

Many people are hesitant to go to therapy because they aren’t sure what to expect. What will happen, what are they going to do, will it even be helpful? Those are just a few questions that may run through your mind. If you’ve seen a lot of movies and TV shows, you’d think counseling entails reclining on a couch and chatting about your upbringing. While treatment can appear like that, there are other sorts and each has a unique strategy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective forms of treatment because it teaches you how to identify and change the thought patterns that are negatively impacting your life.

Conditions Treated By CBT

CBT is a proven treatment for many illnesses, including:

Addiction Disorders


Personality Disorders



Bipolar Disorder

In addition, it can also be used when dealing with stressful situations, low self-esteem, relationship troubles, and more.

What CBT Looks Like

Many patients find CBT useful because it fosters a proactive approach that empowers patients with depression, anxiety, OCD, and other mental illnesses. Among the techniques employed in CBT are:

Understanding Negative Ideas

A patient must examine their negative thought patterns and sentiments. Social anxiety, for example, is generally rooted in emotions of inadequacy, and not a fear of meeting new people.

Developing New Skills and Mechanisms

After identifying negative thought patterns, you’ll learn to let go of the counterproductive methods you used to cope with these feelings in the past. To do this, both you and your therapist will talk about better ways to cope. You can either come up with ideas or your therapist can provide suggestions. This phase is customized to each individuals needs.

Creating Objectives For Yourself

As another highly individualized part of CBT, you get to set treatment goals for yourself. You’ll consider what you want from therapy and how you may better your mental health, relationships, family, and work lives.

Finding Solutions to Issues

As you continue in CBT, you’ll start using these techniques on your own in various scenarios. CBT’s ultimate goal is to teach patients how to manage stressors and negative thoughts. You can feel in control of the situation by using the problem solving skills you acquire in cognitive behavioral therapy.


In cognitive behavioral therapy, you will journal about your feelings, habits, symptoms, and experiences. Your therapist will read your diary entries throughout therapy sessions to help them provide effective treatment.

Learn More About CBT

If you live in or near Chandler, AZ, contact me today to schedule an appointment to see if CBT is right for you!