What is Cognitive Behavior Therapy?

Cognitive Therapy focuses on the role of dysfunctional, automatic thoughts (or cognitions). The way we think will always determine our emotions—the way we feel. Our automatic thoughts or perceptions, if unreasonable, obsessive, misguided, or unrealistic, will cause certain feelings like: anxiety, fear, uncertainty, sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, self-doubt and depression. These unwanted, negative emotions or feelings can be quite painful, even paralyzing, and in turn, give rise to unwanted behaviors like being: angry, critical, judgmental, detached, withdrawn, inhibited, compulsive, shy, rude, overly perfectionistic, overly confrontational, overly confident, insensitive, and other undesirable and unattractive behaviors. Cognitive Behavior Therapy helps identify one’s negative, distorted thinking and beliefs, and then uses numerous techniques to replace these unhelpful and unrealistic thoughts and beliefs with rational, helpful, functional thoughts that result in better feelings and adaptive behavior. In so doing, coping with the difficulties of life becomes more manageable, easier, and successful, and self-esteem, happiness and the quality of one’s life increases.

Behavior Therapy refers to any large number of specific strategies that use the principles of conditioning, learning, and psychology to help reduce or eliminate unwanted behavior. Behavior Therapy uses an interactive and cooperative approach between you and the therapist, along with a host of interesting and unique techniques. Behavior Therapy constructively helps you to change or eliminate problem behavior, or bad habits, and develop new, effective coping strategies. Interestingly, changing your behavior, also results in the way you think and feel. The better the behavior-change, the more reasonable thinking and healthier emotions occur.

Whether it is: procrastination or disorganization, an unwanted habit, an obsession or compulsion, a fear or phobia, depression or anxiety, problematic relationships or communication skills, Behavior Therapy can help with certain strategies to teach new behaviors that work better for you. Through reinforced practice and repetition, exposure training, homework assignments, breathing and muscle relaxation training, problem-solving techniques, role-play, self-monitoring, mini social experiments, assertiveness training, or habit-reversal training, to name a few, Behavior Therapy teaches you new ways of automatically dealing differently and more effectively with life’s problems. In so doing, self-esteem, happiness and the quality of one’s life increases.

Cognitive Therapy and Behavior Therapy focusing primarily on the present situation, helping you reach YOUR goals. It also can focus on your past history, but only to the degree that it impacts working on the present problems and ways of thinking. An encouraging, supportive, interactive and collaborative approach between you and the psychologist is a major characteristic of Cognitive Behavior Therapy at The Center for Behavior Therapy, and employs a whole host of techniques like role-play, cognitive restructuring, disputing negative thinking, social interaction experiments, record keeping, and thought-monitoring, to name a few.

Whether you learned, at some time in your life, to behave or think in certain ways that are now problematic: creating difficulties and making you feel bad, The Center for Behavior Therapy can help you to unlearn these negative thoughts and behaviors, and make the necessary changes that will make you feel better.