The Truth about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Also referred to as CBT, Cognitive-behavioral therapy is treatment given to a person to deal with their problems by making modifications in a person’s problematic emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. This form of psychotherapy is action oriented where a person is provided with practical solutions for dealing with distractive patterns. What makes CBT different from traditional styles of therapy known is it actively deals with problematic behavior, not the cause often found in childhood.
Given that it is not traditional, people tend to be uncomfortable with the idea of what appears to be treating a symptom and not the problem. It is like dog bite lawyers processing claims of several people over a period caused by a singular canine and not doing anything to stop the occurrence.
While the aforementioned does cater to all aspects of a person’s life, many assume that the past is not talked about, that is, the cause. That is however not the case. While reducing the symptoms is one of the primary goals of CBT, it is the biopsychosocial process employed that aims to treat the whole person. It looks at the biological issues, their mind and emotions and relationships around a person to establish why they are a certain way and deals with each. For example, hormonal imbalance, negative self-talk and strenuous relationships may emerge in looking that the biopsychosocial problems a person has, leading to a wholesome healing experience.
Therefore, where does the past fall in all this? The past is what the therapist uses to get a client’s history as any doctor would when you visit their office. What happened in an individual’s life is what shapes their present. What makes CBT different from traditional therapy is that the past only acts to give insight and is not the focus, moving forward and forming positive behavior is. Past learning, therefore, serves to dictate the way forward and not dwell on the issues. Though there is a mechanism in place as to the tools that work, there is still therapy taking place between the therapist and the client. CBT depends on this dynamic between the two for the tools to work because for that to happen, trust and honesty need to be present. In as much as the methods proposed are scientific, they are not void of relationship and uniqueness in their adoption.
Overall, what makes CBT different from traditional therapy is the treating the problem and it’s healing manifesting as behavioral change. The approach is also not entirely scientific; the practice got its start in the 1960s, and there is no unlimited database of scientifically approved tools. Here, a CBT therapist has to merge the fundamental aspects of the practice with the patient’s unique needs.