CBT works by helping your client change the way he or she looks at life and their surroundings in order to help them achieve the goals they set.
CBT makes use of two schools of psychological thought: cognitive and behavioral psychology. As you know, cognitive psychology focuses on the study of mental processes such as thought, attention and memory. Behavioral psychology focuses on understanding how people interact within their environment. The two are used together within CBT to help clients with psychological disorders change both the way they think and the way they behave.
CBT is typically used to treat anxiety disorders in adults. It can use proven techniques of desensitization to gradually introduce people to their fearful stimuli and teach them why they don’t need to afraid, or at least as afraid, of the subject of their phobias.
For instance, let’s say your client has arachnophobia, a fear of spiders. As you may know, the theories behind CBT contend that you’ve been taught to be afraid of spiders (not in the literal sense but that could be the case too) and that slow exposure to your fear will help undo the fearful response.
Depending on just how afraid of spiders you are, you’d start at the lowest comfort level of CBT you can. In the above example, and perhaps you have tried this intervention, the client would need to be introduced simply to the idea of spiders – being able to talk about them – before they could move on to seeing images, live specimens and possibly even letting one crawl along their arm!
As you know, CBT has been used effectively to treat a wide variety of disorders, such as schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, psychosis, and bipolar disorder.
Do you agree that CBT works by helping your client change the way he or she looks at life and their surroundings in order to help them achieve the goals they set?