Cognitive-Behavioural therapy (CBT) methodology assumes that the psychological suffering of the individual is closely linked to the mind, emotions and behaviours learned in our lives.
Part of the work done with the therapist is the analysis of these thoughts, emotions and behaviors, as well as the erroneous beliefs that the patient holds, and to propose learning new behaviours and more adapted thoughts that will help leading a more satisfying life.
The therapist work concentrates on three main aspects:
- Identifying dysfunctional behaviours, emotions and thoughts.
- Understanding the past to the the extent that it can solve the present.
- Causing actual changes in the patient’s life that will help him achieve personal and professional goals.
Treatment is recommended for:
- People who go through difficult life circumstances (divorce, separation, marital problems, loneliness) or undergoing psychological suffering they would like to appease.
- People who want a better understanding of themselves and who want to work on and improve aspects of his personality.
- Anyone who feels any of the reasons to consult.
The word psychotherapy is of greek origin and means “taking care of one’s soul”. A psychotherapy consists in having a number of meetings with a professional, usually individual (but it can be in group) with the aim of working with psychological problems with a specific methodology.
A psychotherapy is a work on one’s self. It allows the person to review its own problems and those aspects that require it most.
To do this, it is essential to have some motivation and provide some effort from the patient side and a good relationship with the therapist in order to obtain results as satisfactory as possible.
It is language and therefore speech that makes the difference between us and the rest of living beings and thus makes us human. We are born without knowing language but upon birth we learn to communicate, numerous neural connections are created and make us who we are.
It is words that will model our thinking and shape our thoughts and our emotions. It is through these words that we can influence in our thinking.
Just like a doctor with drugs acting on our body, a therapist, with its methodological rigor and neutrality and objectivity, will act on our thoughts and therefore our behavior.
Friends as well as family are strong supports for the individual. However, and depending on the particular problem, there are several reasons to consult a therapist:
- Knowledge and Experience
Because a psychologist is a specialist with experience in mental health problems and people; despite our individuality, we all suffer the same sorts of psychological problems. It will be better prepared and it is the person who has the most experience to help in these cases.
- Sincerity and Neutrality
Both with family and with friends we keep roles, due to the fact that we depend in part on the image that we give of ourselves to others. Exposing one’s own problems and weaknesses can destabilize relationships. On the contrary, the therapist will always be outside the patient’s personal relationships.
- Professionnel Secret
A therapist is prepared to solve all kinds of problems, the patient will thus have the opportunity to be listened in its most personal and intimate aspects with the confidence that they will always be kept secret.
- Helping to speak
We are not always aware of our feelings. Often the most hidden emotions are the most difficult to express and are those that create more difficulties and psychological conflicts. The work of a psychologist is to help bring these emotions to surface, in order to be able to work and help patients finding a way to solve their problems by themselves.
The therapist will focus all its attention in listening the patient. Then it will ask questions, inquire for details in view of suggesting interpretations and arousing emotions related to the personal history of the patient.
The therapist will privilege three elements in its work:
- Help the patient free itself from its emotions.
- Help the patient understand itself better.
- Help the patient change its behaviour.
It is important to know that a therapeutic process has no established duration. However, Cognitive-behavioural therapy is normally a short one.
The patient is free to stop therapy whenever he wants.
However, a therapy is a process during which we learn to make changes. And changing behaviours we have had for long requires time.
It is also possible to make an ad hoc pattern of sessions when the patient wants to solve specific questions.
In a way, the most important time criteria is being able to change, so it will be different for each individual.
The usual length of a session is three quarters to one hour long and the frequency is usually once a week. In instances where the pain is intense (moderate or severe depression, panic attacks and anxiety) the therapist may recommend temporarily two sessions per week.