Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is among the most researched and indicated evidence-based modalities for mental health and substance abuse counseling. It is a proactive, problem-solving and solutions-focused means of exploring issues in an individual’s life. This is why we utilize CBT in so many of our interactions – we think it works!
That being said, there are steps you can take to get more out of CBT.
- Start therapy with a few goals in mind. Most people arrive in therapy and do not think about what they might be able to take away from it. We are here to help you along the way but being mindful on a few goals can make a big difference. A therapist may not fully recognize things you need even months into therapy.
- Honesty is everything. It can be hard to open up fully – especially with a new therapist. Personal struggles are often highly personal and touch many areas of our lives. If you are hesitant to share about painful emotions or concerned about embarrassment, let your therapist know. Sometimes the act of sharing about reluctance can help to build a better relationship in therapy.
- Therapy is a partnership. And every good partnership starts with a level of respect, dignity, and trust. We work to develop a therapeutic relationship with you founded on these fundamental ideas. Once we are partnered together, CBT and other modalities work that much better.
- Practice makes perfect. You are going to get homework at Kemet. It may not resemble what you are used to from school, but it is just as important to take seriously. Whether it is making a journal or attempts at improving communication at home, practicing what we cover in CBT is how you make the best progress.
- Results take time. Deep and fundamental changes do not happen overnight, especially when you recognize the time needed to form new habits. CBT can be hard work as you address your emotional and personal needs. You may need several counseling sessions before you see improvement.
- If therapy isn’t working, speak up! Your therapist may not be aware of the lack of results in your personal life. You may find it hard to share a lack of results, or feel it’s important to always communicate progress. But it is important to be honest and direct, especially if CBT isn’t working as an approach for you.
- Stick to your treatment plan. It can be tempting to skip sessions or feel that you “have it from here”. But the treatment plan is there not only to start healthy habits, but also to reinforce and solidify them.
If you find yourself asking – “what is CBT and how does it work?”, it can be thought of in a few simple steps:
- Identify troubling situations or conditions in your life
- Increase your awareness of thoughts, emotions, and beliefs about these problems
- Identify negative or unhelpful thinking
- Reshape negative or unhelpful thinking
We look forward to helping you with CBT. See in you therapy!