Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

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What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that helps clients identify and change unhelpful thoughts, feelings and behaviours, which get in the way of your optimal functioning. It is evidence-based and is often the most effective form of treatment for those struggling with anxiety and depression. CBT may also be combined with other treatments, depending on the client’s situation.

When is CBT Used?

While each client and their mental health treatment plan is unique, CBT is typically used to treat many different struggles. At Bloor West Therapy we use CBT to treat the following:

  • generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • panic disorder
  • phobias
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • bipolar disorder
  • substance abuse

How does CBT work?

CBT is a structured, goal-oriented approach that uses exercises, such as worksheets and behavioural changes, that you may do on your own between sessions. CBT explores the interconnection between your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. It can help clients gain insight into why they think, feel, or behave a certain way and as a result, can bring about positive change. It incorporates psychoeducation to help you understand what happens in your mind and body when you experience anxiety or depression. To learn more, book a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation at Bloor West Therapy.

Frequently Asked Questions

CBT was developed by Dr. Aaron T. Beck in the 1960s. Dr. Beck sought to find ways to categorize and conceptualize depression. Upon examining various patients’ automatic and negative thoughts, Dr. Beck developed CBT as a way to help these individuals change the beliefs behind these thoughts. Since then, more research has been conducted on CBT. It has also helped countless individuals overcome depression and other mental health challenges.

Working one-on-one with a therapist, CBT helps to change the way you think about and interpret events or situations in your life. When you can alter your thoughts and beliefs, you shift the meaning attached to the situation and how you feel about it.
Depression is associated with feeling stuck in some way and often involves negative thought patterns. CBT helps you to get unstuck and disrupt these negative thought patterns and replace them with more adaptive and balanced ones. By doing this, the client can tackle life’s problems in a more constructive way.

Anxiety involves excessive fear and worry. Unless actively addressed, anxiety will usually increase over time, due to people instinctively relying on various safety behaviours, such as avoidance and control, to try to manage anxiety, which in the long run worsens the underlying fears. CBT addresses this through psychoeducation, helping you think differently about anxious thoughts, and learning how to use more effective skills to manage the anxiety and decrease it in the long run. As a result, you learn to think and respond in ways that help you to feel calmer.

Every person is different — the number and frequency of sessions you require may vary when compared to someone else. On average, most clients benefit from four to 12 sessions. However, CBT is typically considered a more short-term therapeutic approach when compared to other types of therapy.
"We believe each person’s story and needs are unique, so we take a flexible approach to choosing the right form of therapy to match the person’s needs and meet their goals."
Bloor West Therapy
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