Mandy Kloppers

Myths about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)



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Myths about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Myth:  CBT emphasizes the power of positive thinking

Fact: CBT emphasizes the importance of realistic thinking. It reduces anxiety by replacing unrealistic, exaggerated thinking with more accurate realistic evaluations.

Myth:  CBT is slow and can take many weeks before real benefits are seen.

Fact:  Many significant effects can be  seen in the first few sessions. You can expect to see improvements within the first 4-6 weeks.

Myth:  CBT is only ‘talk therapy’ in which people “talk themselves out of being anxious”.

Fact:  Behaviour change is a very important part of CBT. It is just as important that a person learns to change their behaviour and act differently in response to their anxiety. CBT looks at thoughts, feelings and behaviour.

Myth: CBT is only effective for mild or moderate CBT.

Fact: CBT can help individuals with severe anxiety.

Myth: CBT ignores the influence of one’s past.

Fact: CBT does focus on the present, but past difficult experiences and childhood adversities may be considered when they have relevance on the individual’s present emotional functioning.

Myth: CBT is very superficial, dealing only with symptoms and not addressing the root cause of mental health issues.

Fact: CBT considers automatic thoughts and beliefs. It looks at childhood issues, where relevant and looks at rules for living and as such, it does look at root causes of issues.

CBT is a very useful therapy that can provide quick results. It differs from some forms of psychotherapy that can last for years. CBT can help you to function in the ‘here and now’ in the short term whilst helping you deal with more long lasting issues, in the long term.

Mandy X


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