Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, is a combination of the collective theories of Cognitive therapy, developed by Aaron T. Beck, MD and Behaviorism, most notably founded by B.F. Skinner, Ph.D. CBT differs from traditional therapies in that it is founded on the principle that thoughts are what creates emotions, which lead to behaviors. Many other forms of therapy believe that emotions are the origins of thoughts and behaviors. While there is no right or wrong answer to the origins of suffering, CBT offers clear, concise and more tangible strategies to identify and try to correct the causes of your problems. This is done through an active, direct and collaborative therapeutic process. Additionally, assignments that target certain problematic behaviors are assigned during session and outside of session to help the client become more aware of their thoughts, feelings and behaviors, which will be further explored in session.
There are many methods to obtain results in CBT however, most often in early sessions, the therapist and the client collaboratively work to identify the root cause of a problematic behavior or emotion, which is believed to be the original thought that created it. The idea is to learn how to identify the thoughts as they are occurring or at least before they lead to a negative consequence. These original underlying thoughts are called automatic thoughts. They are called this because they occur instantly and many times without awareness to the person. By bringing them into awareness and thoroughly exploring their implications, the person can learn ways to control them or the emotions/actions they cause. By continuing to explore these thoughts, the deeper belief can be uncovered, or the Core Belief. This is what typically causes the automatic thoughts to appear in a given situation.
Dr. Greg Schwarz, Psy.D.
Licensed Psychologist, Co-Founder of BTC
All of the therapists at Burbank Therapeutic Centers practice this model and have a strong understanding of it’s principles.