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The History of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a specialized form of talk therapy or psychotherapy that is used to help clients address emotional and behavioral difficulties. It was developed beginning in the 1970’s by a psychiatrist, Dr. Aaron Beck. Dr. Beck was trained in psychoanalysis; the standard treatment of the time. He found that his patients achieved greater improvement by focusing on the interaction between their beliefs, emotions, and behaviors. More specifically, Dr. Beck learned that his patients’ depression and anxiety was caused by distortions in the way they viewed themselves, others, the world (in general), and the future. By helping patients see these discrepancies, Dr. Beck noticed a reduction in the emotions and behaviors that led to distress.
CBT is an Evidence Supported Therapy
Since its inception, CBT has been used to help countless clients live more satisfying and productive lives. Numerous scientific studies support its effectiveness when compared to other forms of psychotherapy for the treatment of depression and anxiety. In some cases, CBT can be as effective as psychiatric medications and have longer lasting results once medication treatment is ended.
Researchers are continually discovering strategies to make CBT more effective in treating a variety of presenting concerns. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy are considered the “new wave” of CBT. These newer techniques expand on and further the work started by Dr. Beck and other behaviorally-oriented scholars.
What Makes CBT Different From Other Forms of Psychotherapy?
Most clients who seek out CBT after undergoing other generic psychotherapy notice some differences. Namely, CBT is goal-oriented. Typically, clients and therapists work collaboratively to establish therapy objectives to be worked on during the course of treatment. Progress towards those goals is evaluated periodically to measure success and to stay on track.
CBT places high value on helping clients learn strategies and skills to help solve the concerns that bring them to therapy. By learning new ways of solving difficulties, clients are equipped to handle future challenges that all people face throughout life.
The acquisition of any new skill requires ongoing practice to integrate new learning and to develop new habits. Practicing skills learned in therapy between sessions is important to get the best outcome and to insure change is sustained over time.
CBT sessions tend to be structured and aimed at addressing a specific issue. The session begins with establishing an agenda for that meeting. The client and therapist work collaboratively to set the goals for the session. Home practice is usually reviewed during the session and new practice jointly determined before the end of the session. Pacific CBT therapists are very interested in receiving feedback from clients about their work together to provide the best therapy for the client.
Pacific CBT therapists are passionate about providing the highest quality Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to its clients. Each therapist works hard to keep abreast of the latest research findings to provide effective techniques to clients. Pacific CBT therapists provide specialized CBT services while maintaining a respectful, warm, and welcoming environment for those who entrust us with their care.