What is CBT? Cognitive Behavioural Therapy explained
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT, is a form of intervention widely used in psychotherapy, counselling and life coaching. CBT provides the right tools and support to engage a powerful process of change without wasting a massive amount of time and energy.
The reason why CBT is so popular is simple: it works incredibly well. A good amount of scientific research shows how effective CBT is in helping people solve problems and experience positive outcomes.
CBT is aimed at changing patterns of thinking and behaviour that keep us stuck and prevent us from overcoming the obstacles we face.
First, CBT intervenes on our thoughts. The way we think influences our lives, because it defines how we understand and interpret the world and the events. In this sense, our thinking pattern can be imagined as a pair of glasses that allows us to see the world in a certain way. It is useful to work on our thoughts and beliefs to deal with issues such as depression, anxiety and others. Let’s say I have low self-esteem and my thoughts about myself are unrealistically negative: I believe I’m a worthless person, whose needs are irrelevant and whose opinions uninteresting. First, CBT allows me to be aware of these thoughts and the negative impact they have on my life. Then, CBT helps me address my limiting beliefs and challenge them effectively.
CBT also intervenes on our behaviour. Our behaviour has a big influence on our lives, our feelings and our happiness. In fact, our behaviour creates outcomes that can be either positive or negative. CBT makes sure that we experience less negative outcomes and more positive ones. Let’s say I have low self-confidence and I avoid public speaking. My avoidance is caused by my low self-confidence, but, at the same time, my avoidance reinforces my low self-confidence, creating a vicious circle in which I’m stuck. CBT allows me to address my behaviour in small steps, in order to experience positive outcomes and to react constructively to external events and circumstances.
CBT is extremely flexible. It can be applied to either severe issues or more practical problems. It can address a variety of unpleasant situations, such as stress, anger, troublesome emotions, procrastination and others. If you are looking for an effective way to improve your life, overcome your obstacles and achieve a state of satisfaction, cognitive behavioural coaching is certainly a clever option!
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About Giorgio Aprile
Giorgio is a qualified and experienced life coach and philosophical counsellor based in London. He has been practising CBT, Mindfulness and other evidence-based methods of coaching and counselling with excellent results. Giorgio is a member of the Association for Coaching and a member of the National Counselling Society.