Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is a form of brief talk therapy based on the works of Aaron T. Beck, Albert Ellis, and the philosophies of John Stewart Mills.
The ideas behind CBT is that wrong or unhelpful thinking leads to wrong behavior and emotions. At the same time psychological problems are caused in part on learned (habitual) patterns of maladaptive behaiors.
In order to improve the behavior and emotions a person needs correct one’s thought patterns. The maladaptive thoughts come from generalizations (I always, you always etc), maximizing the negatives (awfulizing), minimizing the positive (things never go right for me), and catastrophizing.
Examples of these thoughts are: “I’m a failure.” “No one will want me.” “I can’t succeed.” “Others will reject me.”
CBT treatment includes recognizing the distorted thoughts and correcting them. Trusting ones own abilities to overcome problems through use of problem solving skills.
Also CBT involves learning to change negative behaviors such as facing one’s fears and relaxing the mind and body.
One of the great features of Cognitive Behavior Therapy is that like EMDR it is evidence based with much double blind tests showing that it works.
CBT is directive, time limited and time effective, structured, and is a collaboration between your therapist and yourself. The therapist will ask a series of simple questions which guide you to develop an understanding of your problems. She will also role play various situations which were challenging to you allowing you to act in a better way under similar circumstances.
Also your therapist will give you homework to do before your next session. Thus “therapy takes place outside the therapy session.”
Dr. Elaine Kindle was trained by one of the protegees of Aaron T. Beck, Christine Padesky and was an adjunct professor at Aliant International University (CSPP – California School of Professional Psycolgy) and taught CBT to Ph.D. students for many years. She describes how she trained with Cristine Padesky.