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ABC's of CBT

By Angela Dube, LMFT

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is all the rage these days in the therapy world. Pediatricians love to recommend that their patients see a therapist for CBT, especially for depression and anxiety, because it is an evidenced based practice and highly effective for many people. Very commonly it can help with ailments such as depression and anxiety and you can start to see changes quite quickly. The best thing about CBT, is once you learn some of the skills, you can apply them to help yourself or your child feel better.

CBT is all about understanding our feelings, our thoughts, and our behaviors and how they all influence each other. A first step in CBT is helping you understand each of these, what is behind the issue, and what is helping the issue continue to repeat itself. We also look at specific behaviors, what happens before, and what the consequence is. Once we understand what the specific thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are and what is behind them, we can target each one and find new ways to respond so you can feel better. Once you know the impact of each, you can have the power to change.

CBT is not for everyone, however, and that’s okay! Some people find they need other forms of therapy to help them with their feelings and behaviors. Many therapists are trained in multiple forms of therapy and can use a different model to help. All therapy starts with an assessment phase where the therapist gathers information as well as learns more about you to see what will be the most effective approach based on your personality and needs. For children CBT tends to be more effective as the child gets older and develops more cognitive reasoning skills. Luckily play therapy can be a great alternative for those kids who are not ready for CBT. So don’t delay. If something is bothering you or your child, we can help!

Curious to learn more? Come to Come to our free lunchtime parenting class on Tuesday, October 23rd at 12 noon in the Chantel Building conference room. Bring your lunch and I will teach some foundational skills of CBT. I hope to see you there!


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