What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy? 

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a short-term psychotherapy form that helps people develop skills and strategies for changing their thinking, problematic emotions, and behaviour. 

Cognitive behavioural therapy focuses on changing our inner negative thoughts that can worsen emotional difficulties, depression, and anxiety, negatively influencing mood. CBT can help you identify and replace these negative thoughts with more objective, realistic ideas. 

Types of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy 

Types of CBT include various techniques and approaches ranging from structured psychotherapies to self-help materials. These different approaches address underlying thought patterns that contribute to mental distress.

Various types of therapeutic approaches involve CBT, including: 

  • Cognitive therapy: Identifies and changes inaccurate or distorted thinking patterns, emotional responses, and behaviours 
  • Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT): Addresses thoughts and behaviours while incorporating emotional regulation and mindfulness 
  • Multimodel therapy: Addresses seven different interconnected modalities – behaviour, affect, sensation, imagery, cognition, interpersonal factors, and drug/biological considerations. 
  • Rational emotional behaviour therapy (REBT): Involves identifying and challenging irrational beliefs, then learning to recognize and change negative thought patterns 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Techniques 

CBT techniques use many strategies to help people identify and overcome negative thought patterns. These techniques include journaling, roleplaying, relaxation, and mental distractions. 

  • Identifying negative thoughts: It can be challenging to determine how thoughts, feelings, and situations can contribute to destructive behaviours. However, this process can ultimately lead to self-discovery and insights that are essential to the treatment process of CBT.
  • Practicing new skills: It is important to practice new skills that can be used in situations that may be helpful. For example, someone struggling with substance abuse can practice new coping skills to help them cope with or avoid social situations that could trigger a relapse.
  • Goal-setting: Goals can help you make essential changes to improve your health and well-being. Your therapist can help you build your goal-setting skills by helping you set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-based) goals.
  • Problem-solving: Problem-solving in CBT involves identifying a problem, generating possible solutions, evaluating each solution, choosing a solution, and finally, implementing it. Problem-solving skills are essential in helping you reduce the negative impact of psychological and physical illness.
  • Self-monitoring: Self-monitoring, also known as diary work, involves tracking behaviours, symptoms or experiences and sharing them with your therapist during CBT sessions. This technique can help provide your therapist with the information needed to provide the best treatment for you.

Benefits of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in Richmond, Vancouver, or Burnaby

CBT can be an effective tool to help anyone learn how to manage stressful life situations better. It is beneficial for treating mental health disorders, such as depression or PTSD.

Some key benefits of CBT include:

  • It allows you to develop healthier thinking patterns.
  • It is an effective short-term treatment option, as improvements can be seen as soon as 5-20 sessions.
  • It has been found effective for treating a wide variety of maladaptive behaviours.
  • It is often more affordable than other types of therapy since the duration of treatment tends to be shorter than other types of therapy.
  • It is as effective online as well as face-to-face. 
  • It can be used for those who don’t require psychotropic medication.
  • Skills learned in CBT can be applied directly to everyday life. 

What to expect at your first CBT appointment in Richmond, Vancouver, or Burnaby

MindRight Counselling’s skilled therapists can help you begin CBT through structured sessions if you live on the lower mainland. Our counsellors in Vancouver, Burnaby, and Richmond are all professionally trained to make you feel comfortable and work with you to get the most out of your therapy sessions. 

Here is what to expect during your first visit to one of our counselling clinics in Richmond, Vancouver, or Burnaby:

  • Your therapist will ask about the symptoms, emotions, and feelings you are experiencing. It may be relevant to mention any headaches, body aches, or stomach aches you may be experiencing. Symptoms can also include physical symptoms, as emotional distress often manifests physically.
  • They will ask about the specific difficulties you are facing. Don’t be afraid to share any challenges you are experiencing, big or small.
  • They will go over general therapy policies, such as confidentiality, therapy costs, session duration, and the number of sessions recommended. 
  • You will discuss your goals for treatment or what you want to get out of therapy. 

Finding a therapist can feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Start by asking yourself what issues you want to address, if there are any traits you’d like in a therapist, and identify your budget. 

Our experienced team of counsellors at MindRight Counselling will work with you to tackle any problems you’re facing. Contact us at (604) 369-3890 to learn more about our services or book an appointment.