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How Does CBT Work

Updated: Feb 1, 2023

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of therapy that has been proven to help people cope with a wide variety of mental health issues. It works because it's active and you're in charge of your own treatment path. The goal of CBT is to help you recognize that your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are connected. It is a specific therapy focused on shifting the way you think about yourself, your environment and your situation. CBT can be helpful for people with anxiety disorders, depression, stress, relationship issues, and substance abuse recovery programs.

CBT helps you learn to separate what's actually happening from what your negative thoughts tell you is happening. It helps you identify and challenge your negative thoughts, which can lead to a more balanced view of the world. Cognitive distortions are irrational beliefs that people hold about themselves and others. These beliefs often cause them to feel bad emotions like anger or sadness, which may lead them to behave in ways that make other people angry or sad as well, and then they have more reasons for feeling bad.

For example, you may believe that I will never get promoted because the boss does not like me. I can never do anything right. You do not take time to think about the perfect attendance award or the Most Recognized Award you received three months ago. CBT helps you identify negative thoughts, beliefs and assumptions about yourself and your world. This allows you to challenge these thoughts with more realistic ones that are based on evidence rather than on your emotions (cognitive restructuring).

You learn to recognize your feelings and to change negative thoughts into positive thoughts. It helps people have more positive attitudes towards themselves and others by focusing on positive aspects of life rather than dwelling on negative ones.

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