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Does Cognitive Behavioural Therapy work?

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Many of you have asked about the approach that MindBeacon uses to improve mental health, so we thought it might be useful to explain it. What exactly is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy? You may have heard that term before, or the short form (CBT), but what does it mean?

CBT is based on the belief that what we think, how we feel and how we behave are all connected. The way you “see” the world is what shapes your reality.

So, if you want to change how you feel, you need to understand the ways in which your thoughts are affecting you – then find better, healthier ways of thinking.

How does that work in real life?
Changing how you feel isn’t easy. In fact, learning to manage your emotions can be really hard.

So, why not take a different approach? Why not listen to the stories you’re telling yourself (thoughts) and examine how you’re acting (behaviour)? Changing those can have a huge impact on how we feel.

It’s about gaining a deeper understanding of your feelings, and the strong emotions connected to them.

Connecting with your emotions is important, so it’s not about talking you out of how you’re feeling. You need to connect to those feelings, and really understand how they relate to your thoughts and behaviours.

But CBT is focused on the here and now. Although understanding where you came from is important, you won’t spend a lot of time trying to perfectly understand the past. It’s really about empowering you with tools you need to create a healthier future.

How do you deal with your feelings?

Thoughts
The “Cognitive” part of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) gives you a variety of tools and techniques that will help you identify your thoughts and modify how they affect your feelings and behaviours. You learn the strategies that will help you cope with strong emotions.

Behaviours
The “Behavioural” part of CBT comes with identifying and understanding the behaviours that are contributing to your problems, so that you can challenge them over time. For example, the most common problem in anxiety is avoidance, as it leads to greater anxiety. The most common problem in depression is social withdrawal, as it leads to greater withdrawal.

At the heart of it, it’s about learning new skills. It’s a process, so give yourself the time you need to learn these skills and put them into practice. The more you practise, the better you’ll get and the sooner you’ll begin to feel better.

CBT has been proven to be an excellent short-term therapy that’s especially helpful when it comes to managing emotions such as fear, anxiety, sadness, guilt, shame and anger. It’s effective because it teaches you how to break out of negative cycles.

Unlike other therapies that can take years, CBT focuses on learning and practising skills you can put to use immediately. It’s an effective form of therapy that focuses on you – empowering you with the tools you need to make a meaningful and lasting difference.

If you're ready to take the next step and get started with therapy, visit us today here to complete your assessment. 

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CBT believes that what we think, how we feel and how we behave are all connected. The way you “see” the world is what shapes your reality.

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Stronger Minds content is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to establish a standard of care with a reader, you should always seek the advice of your mental health professional, physician or other qualified health provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical or mental health condition. If you think you may have a medical or mental health emergency, call your doctor, go to the nearest hospital emergency department, or call emergency services immediately. You should never disregard or delay seeking medical advice relating to treatment or standard of care because of information contained herein. Medical information changes constantly. Therefore the information herein should not be considered current, complete or exhaustive, nor should you rely on such information to recommend a course of treatment for you or any other individual. Reliance on any information provided herein is solely at your own risk.