CBT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, is a mechanism of therapy designed to work with the client in the now, instead of spending time and anxiety rehashing the past and the subconscious. This therapeutic method is intended to reframe thoughts that set one back from achieving their healthier selves. As I am convinced of the mind-body connection, I consider CBT a valuable tool for physical health as well as mental health.
CBT arose from the work of Aaron T. Beck during his research on depression. What I find appealing about his story is his background was his training in psychoanalysis. Often people will come to a new idea without the background in current therapies. His background gave him a control or comparison to challenge the success of his new therapy. Cognitive Therapy became Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as he made further connections between thoughts and behavior. ANT’s – Automatic Negative Thoughts, common for those of us who are impacted by anxiety and OCD, are challenged as they come. CBT works to alter maladaptive behaviors happening now, not sitting in the muck of what was.
Why CBT for me?
CBT assists clients to identify negative thought processes, create a personalized goal-setting environment with the involvement of the client, allowing for self-therapy. My experiences with traditional therapy, where the therapeutic method requires talking about my past with a passionless, motionless listener made me feel ignored, like an experiment instead of a person. I rarely discuss my past issues with anyone, so when I do, it’s critical I have a safe, warm and supportive space to do so. The clinical examination process of psychoanalysis doesn’t work for me and even now, is recommended by doctors, which is frustrating. So I have taken my therapy into my own hands, with success beyond what I have ever imagined.
Many segments of the therapy community are recognizing that for people with anxiety and OCD, holistic therapies and therapies that do not require more past trauma plopped on the conveyer belt of intrusive thoughts will better serve the client.
I am that client.
I’ll work through some exercises and share parts as I go.