• How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?

    by Caroline Ryther
    on Sep 27th, 2018

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a short-term psychotherapy treatment that focuses on changing patterns of behavior or thinking responsible for people's life difficulties. CBT can help with a number of issues, from reducing stress to dealing with grief, but more importantly, it’s one of the key elements in treating a wide range of mental health conditions, including:

Through a series of sessions, a counselor and an individual (or a group of people) work on identifying negative or false thoughts, and replacing them with healthier, more realistic ones. The main principle behind CBT is that a change in your attitude can lead to a change in your behavior, which can ultimately make you happier and mentally healthier.

Cognitive behavioral therapy provides people with coping strategies that help them deal with life challenges and can have an overall positive impact on how people both feel and act. What’s important is to attend your sessions regularly and actually listen to your therapist and do as they say. Otherwise, CBT won’t have the desired impact on your problems and life, in general.

What Can You Learn with CBT?

In addition to helping you identify negative thoughts and learn how to replace them, CBT can also help you:

Of course, none of the above can be done overnight, and you really need to be consistent and put all of yourself into your sessions. Your therapist will use different techniques and tools to help you reach your goals, and we’ll go through some of them in a moment.

How Do You Learn with CBT?

Some of the “learning tools” you will encounter during your sessions include:

  1. Homework assignments,
  2. Role-playing activities,
  3. Ways to calm both your body and mind,
  4. Gradual exposure to things that you fear,
  5. Keeping a cognitive behavioral diary,
  6. Practicing the skills learned through your sessions,
  7. Frequent feedback from your therapist.

Of course, these techniques will vary depending on both your therapist and your problems. If you find that some of the “tools” might not be the best solution for you or you feel uncomfortable while using them, make sure to tell your therapist.

Important Things to Remember

You can have CBT with a licensed counselor, licensed clinical social worker, psychologist, or other professionals with training in mental health. Ultimately, the title does not matter—what matters is that your psychotherapist is trained and licensed.

Before your treatment comes to an end, your therapist will show you how to stop your depression from coming back. You will need to practice these skills on a daily basis in order to keep your depression at bay. In case it does come back, don’t think twice about picking up therapy again. Of course, if you find yourself facing a troubling issue or feeling bad, you can always schedule a session with your therapist.


If you have any problems, whether regarding your everyday life or a more serious condition, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Dr. Best and the Neuroscience Center. We are just a phone call or an email away, if you need to schedule a consultation.


Contact us:

Phone: 847-306-8938

Email: pm@mind.md

Author Caroline Ryther

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