Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is based on the idea that it is difficult to directly change our feelings.  You may know this first-hand if you have ever had someone tell you to “Cheer up!” when you were feeling down – not so easy to do!  CBT asserts that our behaviors and our thoughts directly influence our feelings, so these two avenues can be the path to changing how we feel.  For example, if I think, “Nobody likes me,” I will feel sad, and if I withdraw into the basement and watch sad movies and eat cookies, I will likely feel sadder and reinforce my belief that nobody likes me.  The solution might seem easy; simply change your thoughts and behaviors.  The tricky part is that our thoughts and behaviors are often so automatic that we are not aware of them.  Thus, the role of the therapist is to work collaboratively with the client to develop skills to identify unhelpful thoughts and behaviors, challenge/modify those beliefs, and implement healthier behaviors.