Focuses on Thinking and Behaving
The basic premise of the cognitive model is that how you feel is largely influenced by how you think. The principle suggests that emotional and behavioural reactions are learned. The goal is to help patients unlearn responses and to adopt a new way of responding to stressors. The process includes assessing the patterns that the patient undertakes in their thinking and behaviours. These thoughts and behaviours are challenged and a new modified way of thinking happens. Gaining control is of most importance in this process and the psychologist strives to empower the patient to do so.
Focus on the Present
When people are anxious they tend to think of the future. The goal for cognitive behavioural therapy is to help patients open their focus to the present moment and to assess situations without distorting their realities to the future. We want to help our clients remain focused on the present situation that brings on their anxiety and manage their symptoms in the moment.
Direct Session Activities
A psychologist conducting CBT will help guide the session by being directive. This means that the therapist sets the agenda, plans activities, and engages in discussion to help the patient move forward. The therapist and patient will mutually agree on assignments and treatment decisions. The therapist will work on helping you move forward session by session. Being specific and task orientated is very important throughout this process.
Teaching Valuable Skills
The therapist focuses on teaching valuable skills to help manage the patient’s anxiety symptoms. This may include helping with problematic situations or dealing specifically with learning new skills. This in turn will help achieve and maintain treatment goals.
Provide Guidance Through Research Supported Techniques
CBT Psychologists and Psychotherapists use techniques that have demonstrated effectiveness through clinical research. A well-trained therapist will also provide well thought out homework for their patients to read and process.
Your first session will be conducted by the psychologist working with you. The psychologist will be taking a lot of notes and possibly ask your permission to conduct a formal assessment with the use of a specific measure that will help identify any issues that may influence your ongoing treatment. The assessment session will help gather information that it’s important to develop a treatment plan. You may be asked questions about your health history, your symptoms, and family. We recommend that you take the time to reflect on your responses and be as open as you can. Assessments could take up to two hours.
Why is it Important to Form a Therapeutic Relationship?
The therapeutic relationship is very important to develop for both the client and the therapist. Genuine openness is imperative to the healing process. This process is important for both parties to nurture throughout the therapeutic journey. Your therapist will attempt to establish a collaborative relationship. They will do this by being supportive, encouraging, and non-threatening.