Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a short-term approach to therapy. The average person may have 8-20 sessions. CBT begins with a good working relationship between you and the therapist. It is important that you feel that the therapist has a good understanding of your problems and that you can discuss how you think and feel in a safe environment.
The basic concept behind the therapy is that our thoughts about a situation affect how we feel and how we behave in the situation. In CBT, you will learn to understand the relationship among what you are thinking, feeling, and doing. You will learn how to overcome problems by identifying and challenging unhelpful ways of thinking and behaving.
In CBT sessions, you will spend time talking about your feelings. The presence of strong feelings usually means that the discussion is about something important. However, in CBT we do not challenge emotions. Feelings just “are.” Feelings are “true.” In contrast, thoughts, assumptions, beliefs, and behaviours can be challenged and changed. CBT focuses on the here and now, rather than on the past. We may spend some time talking about your past in order to better understand your current problems. However, the primary emphasis will be on helping you to overcome your current difficulties.