In this note we are going to try to answer some of the most common questions about what a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is like and what it consists of.
The basics of a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is, first of all, a form of psychological treatment. It can be applied to many areas and problems, not just the office.
In the office, typically everything begins when a person does not feel well emotionally or has a behavior problem and therefore decides to consult a psychologist. Thus, the patient arrives and explains his problem to the psychologist who, based on what the patient tells him, will first try to understand it and then help him find a solution with the means of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Next, we are going to develop a series of important points that describe how the treatment is carried out.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has three major stages
In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy we organize ourselves in three phases: evaluation, treatment and follow-up.
During the first stage, the psychological evaluation, we take care of knowing the patient and understanding the problems for which they consult. If there is a diagnosis such as Depression, Bipolarity or Social Phobia we try to find it at this time. In general, what we discover in these first interviews we explain to the patient, in this way he begins to know his problem and gives us his point of view. Very important: during this phase, the patient and the therapist talk and agree on the treatment goals and prioritize them. The psychological evaluation lasts between 3 and 5 sessions.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a scientific approach
Although it seems strange, not all therapies applied by psychologists have a scientific basis. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy itself is a scientific therapy, which does not mean that it is infallible but that the procedures applied are investigated with rigorous experimental methods, today closely linked to advances in neuroscience. That is why we are more likely to achieve the objectives. A scientifically validated procedure does not guarantee success but makes it much more likely.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is practical and works for objectives
In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy we focus on solving the current problems of the person, the reasons that afflict them today and make them suffer. In some cases, when it is necessary to understand the current problem, we ask for information about the past; But the accent of treatment is on solving today’s difficulties.
The dialogues between the patient and the therapist are guided by practical objectives. It is not at all a spontaneous talk without direction, but we orient ourselves by the reasons that brought the patient to treatment.
On the other hand, we don’t just talk. We teach the patient a set of exercises that will help him manage and solve problems.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a treatment approach applicable to different problems and areas. In the clinic, in the office, it is not only used for specific problems such as phobias or depressions but it is also effective in the treatment of vital crises, family and relationship problems, non-specific emotional distress. In addition, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is applicable to different areas of the office, such as school or work.
In short, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a form of practical-oriented psychological treatment, based on scientific knowledge and with a wide spectrum of application. Its main objective is to alleviate human suffering using procedures validated by science.