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Features of a cognitive behavioural approach to counselling

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy… is a form of psychotherapy that emphasizes the important role of thinking in how we feel and what we do.

CBT is based on the cognitive model of emotional response. CBT is briefer and time-limited. A sound therapeutic relationship is necessary for effective therapy, but not the focus.

CBT is a collaborative effort between the therapist and the client. CBT is based on aspects of stoic philosophy. CBT uses the Socratic Method. CBT is structured and directive.

What is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

CBT is based on an educational model. CBT theory and techniques rely on the Inductive Method.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy does not exist as a distinct therapeutic technique. However, most cognitive-behavioral therapies have the following characteristics: Cognitive-behavioral therapy is based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, not external things, like people, situations, and events.

What is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is considered among the most rapid in terms of results obtained. The average number of sessions clients receive across all types of problems and approaches to CBT is only 16.

  • CBT is structured and directive;
  • When people understand how and why they are doing well, they know what to do to continue doing well;
  • However, most people seeking therapy do not want to feel they way they have been feeling;
  • Therefore, the inductive method encourages us to look at our thoughts as being hypotheses or guesses that can be questioned and tested;
  • Therefore, CBT therapists do not tell their clients what to do — rather, they teach their clients how to do.

What enables CBT to be briefer is its highly instructive nature and the fact that it makes use of homework assignments. CBT is time-limited in that we help clients understand at the very beginning of the therapy process that there will be a point when the formal therapy will end. The ending of the formal therapy is a decision made by the therapist and client. Therefore, CBT is not an open-ended, never-ending process. Some forms of therapy assume that the main reason people get better in therapy is because of the positive relationship between the therapist and client.

Cognitive-behavioral therapists believe it is important to have a good, trusting relationship, but that is not enough. CBT therapists believe that the clients change because they learn how to think differently and they act on that learning.

Therefore, CBT therapists focus on teaching rational self-counseling skills.

Cognitive-behavioral therapists seek to learn what their clients want out of life their goals and then help their clients achieve those goals. For excellent cognitive-behavioral therapy self-help and professional books, audio presentations, and home-study training programs, please click here.

Not all approaches to CBT emphasize stoicism. Cognitive-behavioral therapy does not tell people how they should feel.

However, most people seeking therapy do not want to feel they way they have been feeling. The approaches that emphasize stoicism teach the benefits of feeling, at worst, calm when confronted with undesirable situations. They also emphasize the fact that we have our undesirable situations whether we are upset about them or not. If we are upset about our problems, we have two problems — the problem, and our upset about it.

Most people want to have the fewest number of problems possible. So when we learn how to more calmly accept a personal problem, not only do we feel better, but we usually put ourselves in a better position to make use of our intelligence, knowledge, energy, and resources to resolve the problem. Cognitive-behavioral therapists have a specific agenda for each session. Therefore, CBT therapists do not tell their clients what to do — rather, they teach their clients how to do.

  • A central aspect of Rational thinking is that it is based on fact;
  • The same is the case with psychotherapy;
  • However, most people seeking therapy do not want to feel they way they have been feeling;
  • CBT is based on an educational model.

CBT is based on the scientifically supported assumption that most emotional and behavioral reactions are learned. When people understand how and why they are doing well, they know what to do to continue doing well. A central aspect of Rational thinking is that it is based on fact. If we knew that, we would not waste our time upsetting ourselves.

Therefore, the inductive method encourages us to look at our thoughts as being hypotheses or guesses that can be questioned and tested. If when you attempted to learn your multiplication tables you spent only one hour per week studying them, you might still be wondering what 5 X 5 equals.

The same is the case with psychotherapy. Goal achievement if obtained could take a very long time if all a person were only to think about the techniques and topics taught was for one hour per week.