“Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy” (or CBT) in Edmonton

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Edmonton

What is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy?

The term “Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy” (or CBT) refers to several distinct approaches to counselling and psychotherapy with a number of important common features.  They generally involve a focus on the ways people perceive and think about life events, and an understanding that investigating and challenging distorted, maladaptive thoughts can lead to positive emotional and behavioral change.  CBT is usually relatively brief, and focused on one issue at a time.  It emphasizes that the client is an active participant in the therapeutic process, and often involves the teaching of therapeutic skills that the individual can subsequently apply to different issues in their own life.

Common Issues CBT Can Treat

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is one of the broadest and most flexible of all therapeutic approaches, and has been proven to be effective when applied to dozens of specific psychological problems including the following:

  • Depression

  • Anxiety and panic attacks

  • Phobias

  • Post-traumatic stress

  • Addiction

  • Grief and loss

How Can CBT Help Me?

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy empowers clients to recognize that most psychological problems arise from faulty (but often deeply ingrained) beliefs, not any fundamental flaws in them as people. CBT is a positive and compassionate approach that emphasizes a strong therapeutic alliance between counsellor and client, and working together to investigate, challenge, and refute the negative thoughts that maintain personal problems.  Once therapy is complete, the client will have been equipped with a set of powerful and flexible strategies allowing them to face and overcome a broad array of challenging situations and experiences.

How Quickly Does CBT Work?

While it is impossible to know precisely how long it will take before Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy can begin to help a person to improve a negative mood or change a problematic behavior, real change usually begins to appear within 6-8 sessions.  Many treatment manuals recommend a total of 12 to 16 sessions to address such issues as depression and anxiety.  CBT is often used in conjunction with related treatments such as exposure therapy and systematic desensitization, particularly when dealing with such issues as phobias and panic disorder.