AERCS is a collective of certified Canadian counsellors, led by psychotherapist Gloria Segovia, based in Toronto and Orangeville with a mandate to assist the people of Ontario with their mental health needs, by offering therapy both in-person and online
Cognitive behavioral therapy is core to AERCS’ practice, and is used in couples counselling, for battling addictions, and for helping children overcome eating and sleeping disorders.
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that aims to help people change the negative thought patterns which most commonly lead to bad behavior. It’s based on the idea that our thoughts, feelings, and actions are all interconnected, and that negative beliefs can trick us and can trap us in vicious cycles of self abuse. CBT works by helping people identify and change or diminish these unhealthy thoughts, and by teaching coping skills and strategies to help manage the problem. The goal of CBT is to help people develop more positive and healthy ways of thinking and behaving, which can lead to improved mood and functioning. CBT is a short-term therapy typically focused on specific problems or issues. It’s usually provided in weekly sessions, each lasting 30-60 minutes, and such therapeutic regimes last for a few weeks or go several months, depending on the individual’s needs and progress.
What are Core Beliefs?
Core beliefs are fundamental, preconceived notions that people hold about themselves, other people, and the world in general. These rigid concepts are often formed in childhood and can be both positive and negative. They’re usually deeply held and automatic emotional responses that can influence a person’s thoughts and actions. For example, if someone holds a core belief they’re unlovable, they may feel anxious and get depressed in social situations, or they may have difficulty forming and maintaining relationships. Alternatively, someone who has a core belief they’re super-capable and incredibly competent may feel more confident than others and be more likely to pursue higher aspirations and grander goals. Core beliefs can be difficult to change because they’re so deeply ingrained, but they can be modified through therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). With CBT, people work with a consellor to identify and challenge negative core beliefs and replace them with more realistic and positive concepts.
How Can CBT Affect Core Beliefs?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help people change negative core beliefs, replacing them with more realistic and positive notions. This process often involves:
- Identifying the core beliefs: In CBT, people work with their therapist to identify the negative or unhealthy core beliefs that are contributing to their problems. These beliefs may be related to their self-worth, their ability to cope with challenges, or their expectations of others.
- Examining the evidence: Once the core beliefs have been identified, people can work with their therapist to examine the evidence for and against these beliefs. This can help them see that their beliefs may be based on distorted thinking or outdated information.
- Developing alternative beliefs: Once people have identified and challenged their negative core beliefs, they can work with their therapist to develop alternative, more realistic and positive beliefs. These alternative beliefs should be based on evidence and should be more helpful in coping with challenges and achieving their goals.
- Practicing new behaviors: Finally, people can practice using their new, more positive beliefs to guide their thoughts and behaviors. This can involve setting goals, trying new activities, and experimenting with different ways of thinking and reacting to situations.
Overall, the goal of CBT is to help people develop more adaptive and healthy ways of thinking and behaving, which can lead to improved mood and functioning.
Which Mental Health Treatments Employ CBT ?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is widely used at AERCS because it’s a well-established and time honored treatment for a variety of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and eating disorders. Research has shown that CBT can be effective in reducing symptoms and improving functioning in people with these and other mental health conditions. A review of over 100 studies found that CBT was effective in reducing symptoms of depression in adults and children, and the benefits of CBT are similar to those of antidepressant medication. Another report found that CBT was effective in reducing anxiety in children, adolescents, and adults. CBT has also been found to be effective in treating eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. A review of studies found that CBT was more effective than other types of therapy or no treatment in reducing symptoms and improving functioning in people with eating disorders.
Overall, the evidence suggests that CBT can be an effective treatment for a range of mental health issues and can lead to significant improvements in reducing symptoms and improving their overall functioning. It is important to note that the effectiveness of CBT can depend on various factors, including the severity of the problem, the individual’s motivation to change, and the quality of the therapy.