Debunking CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)
CBT is an evidence based (in fact, one of the only extensively researched and proven technique to help with trauma, depression, and anxiety) psycho-social intervention. CBT aims to improve the quality of your day-to-day life in the present moment. I started my private practice about six years ago, and was extremely sceptical of CBT. Here is why - and how - I slowly shifted.
CBT is one of those “hot words” that is thrown around by doctors, therapists and anyone in between. Since being a hot word, there is a lot of misinformation that comes from it, which lead to my hesitancy around learning more and offering it as a treatment intervention. I also had the misconception that CBT was rigid and a “one size fits all”; and my values lay strongly with an anti-oppressive, person centered lens. I was also under the impression that the basis of CBT was “positive thinking”. I could not be more wrong! CBT is actually based on cognitive distortions - once we are able to understand the evidence for and against those distortions, we are able to understand REALITY! It is not positive thinking at all - it is simply put: finding where reality lays. Once we have thoughts based in reality, we are then able to start collecting evidence to support this reality. One last misconception I had, was that CBT ignores emotions. I am someone who is very emotion based; I believe we are need to have a strong understanding of all the different emotions we feel and being able to name these emotions. The shift I experienced with CBT around emotions and maybe even my biggest “aha” moment, is that CBT allows us to strengthen our emotions, by connecting emotions with thoughts and behaviours. By understanding the connection between emotion, thoughts and behaviours, we are able to change and shift into different emotional states - beautiful!
As I slowly did research on my own, and slowly recognized all the empirical evidence, I decided to complete my CBT certificate through the University of Toronto. I am so thankful I went on this journey of digging and uncovering for myself the usefulness of this treatment option.