Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a therapy method developed by Aaron Beck in 1960. According to many studies, it is one of the most useful and common therapy methods.
The word cognitive includes thought and perception processes.
The main point in CBT is that the way we perceive the event or experience (our thoughts) affects the emotional, behavioral and physiological responses to the event.
The way we understand our problems affects the way we deal with them. Everyone’s perspective on life is different. When they look at the glass that is half full of water, some people see it as half empty and some see it as half full, our way of perceiving life is different as in this simple example. Even identical twins who grow up in the same environment differ in their perception of events. There are many factors that affect our perceptions; such as genetics, family structure, environment, cultural structure, country of residence, friends. Our perceptions do not change easily because we have been learning and reinforcing the subjects we have learned for years. Let’s think about driving, when we first learned we had to check each point separately, mirrors, gear, belt, etc. However, as we continue to drive, it becomes easier to drive and we start using it automatically. As soon as we sit on the seat, we can use it without thinking. Here are some of our thoughts that we have reinforced with learning over the years. These come to mind immediately in some cases. We call these automatic thoughts. Our goal is to identify these and help the person acquire alternative thoughts with new learning.
The areas we focus on in CBT are the person’s thoughts, moods, behaviors, bodily reactions, and the environment. We distinguish environmental changes, the bodily reactions it creates, mood, behaviors, thoughts. Each question has 5 different components and they all interact with each other. Separating these components is important in terms of setting goals for ourselves in the future.
CBT helps to consider all available information, not just positive thinking.
It asks you to interpret events, your thoughts, moods, and behaviors about these events on a cognitive level, and allows you to find alternative thoughts to solve this. There are various techniques and methods to find alternative thoughts, they are designed individually.
We talked about thoughts, under these thoughts are our assumptions and core beliefs. During therapy, we concentrate on discovering them.