If you’re considering in person or online therapy, you may feel overwhelmed by the many different options and types available. Perhaps you’ve tried to learn about the various approaches but feel overwhelmed. You’re not sure which approach will best address your own situation and concerns.
Perhaps CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is one of the options you’ve seen during your search. But it is kind of a mouthful, and you’re not sure what it entails and most importantly, if it can help you.
If this sounds familiar, keep reading! Having been trained in CBT and many other approaches, I will do my best to help you understand the 5 reasons why CBT is a great therapy approach (and life changing)!
1. CBT is Backed by Science
As science has made new discoveries about the human brain and body, therapeutic models for mental health treatment have developed alongside it. CBT is one of these. CBT works by addressing the neurological pathways in your brain. It also addresses how your thoughts and emotions manifest themselves in your body and vice versa as well as the impact your actions have on your brain, body and life.
Think of how your muscles grow stronger when you use them and weaker when you don’t. The pathways in the brain are kind of like this. When you accept certain negative emotions and thoughts without challenging them, the corresponding neural pathways will remain strong.
The opposite is true, though. You can learn to challenge these negative beliefs and replace them with more realistic, supportive, helpful beliefs and actions. With time, the new neural pathways will become stronger than the old ones. This phenomenon is scientifically proven and offers a breakthrough in mental health counseling approaches.
2. CBT Offers Something Different and Special
CBT is not the same as “traditional” therapy. In the early decades of psychotherapy, counselors spent a lot of time helping clients analyze their past. The goal was to understand how one’s childhood environment, parental relationships, and so forth led to emotional issues in adulthood.
As you can guess, this process can be very time-consuming (and expensive). And even though clients can, and do, find powerful insights into their behavior and emotions with this approach, achieving change doesn’t always follow. It is kind of like the difference between understanding why a fire started versus learning how to put out and prevent fires. Insight without action is meaningless. CBT helps you understand how to put out the fires in your life as well as prevent them in the first place.
CBT, thankfully, does not require a lengthy analysis of your past or even present. CBT gets to work in helping you make changes from the very first session. You can definitely start to experience breakthroughs and see your own growth within a few sessions.
3. CBT Focuses on the Present and Future
One of the many beautiful things about CBT is that it focuses on your present and future. Yes, it can be helpful to understand your past and family history.
But what’s most important is to move forward by proactively addressing those challenges getting in the way of a productive, happy life here and now (and moving forward). Often times the difference between a life well lived and a life full of struggle is the ability to learn skills to cope with life’s challenges and how to embrace the beautiful gifts life can also offer us as well.
CBT teaches you to look forward and take control of your future with confidence based on solid tried and tested tools that rewire the brain and body for good.
4. CBT Gives You Lifelong Skills
My CBT therapy sessions are designed to help you build skills that you can carry with you for the rest of your life. Once you’ve learned these skills, you can use them on your own throughout your life. You won’t require a therapist to help you put them into place.
Because of this, you can always draw upon your CBT knowledge when you go through unexpected difficulties and challenges. You’ll be able to adapt to new situations. It really is empowering to learn how to work with our thoughts, emotions and bodies. I like to think of CBT as a kind of manual for how to manage our lives better.
Because CBT addresses how thoughts and behaviors interact with your body, you’ll also have an arsenal of physiological body based techniques to draw upon.
5. CBT is Equally Effective Online or In Person
Research has shown many times that CBT therapy sessions are just as effective online as they are in person. This has been vital during the pandemic, but it also means that you can conveniently seek Cognitive Behavior Therapy no matter your location, schedule, and outside obligations.
In fact, many people prefer online CBT sessions because of this very flexibility. Being able to work with an online therapist from the comfort of your own home or another place of your choosing gives you freedom and privacy.
In my experience, having online therapy can also boost your confidence when CBT is coming to an end. Knowing that you made changes in your own space (as opposed to a counselor’s office) is very empowering.
***As a licensed mental health counselor and an accredited psychotherapist who specializes in CBT, I’ve seen firsthand how powerful it is. If you’re looking for a therapeutic approach that is effective and action-focused, based on the latest neuroscience and nature science, please reach out to me at my Honolulu clinic or my London clinic. to learn more. I also offer a free online CBT test drive session to give you a no pressure and no cost opportunity to see if CBT sessions could be helpful for you.