CBT is based on the theory that our thoughts, feelings and behaviours are linked, and that change in any one will effect change in the others. For example, when we wake up in a low mood, we tend to interpret events with a negative spin, and are unlikely to engage in activities that may help us feel better. Similarly, when we say “hi” while passing an acquaintance, if they fail to acknowledge us we may think that they dislike or are upset with us. Such thoughts are likely to make us doubt and feel badly about ourselves, and make us less likely to greet the next person we see. If we think of a more neutral reason for their lack of greeting, such as they were preoccupied or did not hear us, we do not experience any injury to our feelings.
CBT interventions typically target our behaviours and thoughts with the aim of improving our feelings. When treating depression, for example, ruminative thoughts and self-critical judgements are challenged, while behaviours that improve mood (such as exercise, self-care and socializing) are encouraged. When treating anxiety, behaviours that lessen the physiological arousal that accompanies anxiety (such as breathing and relaxation exercises) are practiced while realistic and calming thoughts are used to challenge unproductive worrying. Mindfulness based interventions are often integrated with CBT to help build awareness
Whether delivered in one on one sessions, group sessions or virtual sessions, CBT has been proven to be an effective treatment for a number of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, insomnia, addictions, and disordered eating. At Campanula Psychological Services, we collaborate with our clients to design and implement CBT interventions to target the issues that hold them back from meeting their mental health goals.