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The Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Alexis Vogler, LPC
Counselor, Insight Clinical Counseling and Wellness, LLC

Cognitive = thinking, and behavior = actions, so Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a therapy in which your counselor can make connections from your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. You may or may not have heard of the CBT triangle. The CBT triangle is a good visual representation of how our thoughts can influence our feelings which can influence our behaviors.

Sometimes, we need a third-party person, aka a counselor, to help us identify how our thinking is impacting our everyday life. A counselor’s job is to identify how we can make changes that can impact our lives. CBT is a source of challenging ones thinking or identifying the thought to make changes for the better.

For example, let’s go through the triangle together.

Let’s say there is a thought when you wake up that “today is going to be a horrible day.”

The feelings that you may have as you go through your day are defensive, guarded, or somewhat frustrated based on that thought.

Because of the thought and feelings throughout the day, the behavior you may have could be arguing with your family or your partner, taking your anger out on loved ones, or making careless decisions and impulsiveness.

Then, let’s say based on that behavior, your next thought could be “I am a horrible person,” which can repeat the triangle again with feelings and behaviors to follow.

If we can change the thought to be more optimistic like “today is going to be wonderful” or “I am grateful for another day.” The feelings that follow may be kind, blessed, positive, and upbeat.

Then, the behavior or action would be open-minded to others, listening, and responding well to others.

However, sometimes it may take a counselor to understand and make these connections. Feel free in your sessions to ask your counselor to teach you or help you understand CBT better and/or use it in sessions.

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