Cognitive Behavioural Therapy | CBT
Cognitive Therapy is also known as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and CBT. Over the years since it became established, variations of CBT have evolved and as a result, the term "CBT" or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has become more an umbrella term for all the cognitive psychotherapies.
It is a widely used approach in the NHS and has an excellent evidence base that underpins its success. Success though, depends on the therapist's education level in CBT training, their skills and their experience as much as it does the needs of the person attending therapy.
In brief, the theory behind CBT is that we can alter unwanted behaviours through changing the negative automatic thoughts (NATs) from the subconscious level that cause or drive negative emotions and feelings and lead to unwanted behaviours. The result is that different meaning carried by thoughts replaces the subconscious NATs, hence changing the resulting emotions, feelings and behaviour.
- When individuals understand and accept that the main cause of emotional reactions are their beliefs about an event instead of the event itself. That is, we don’t just get upset from an event. We upset ourselves because of our irrational beliefs.
- When people acquire irrational beliefs, if they do not deal with them, they “hold” onto the beliefs and it’s what continues to upset them in the present. That is, these individuals still wholeheartedly believe in the “three musts.”
- Ellis made it clear that understanding these insights does not make us inherently “better.” That is, understanding these beliefs and having insights into how they effect our emotional responses is not enough to “cure” us. In reality, the best way to get better and stay better through REBT is to continually work on recognizing our irrational beliefs, disputing them, changing our irrational “musts,” and transforming negative emotions into more positive ones. Simply put, the only way to get better is through the hard work of changing our beliefs. It takes time and practice (Ref: REBT: What is it and how does it work)