Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT is based on the premise that the body and the mind are not separate, but closely intertwined, with your thoughts affecting your actions and vice-versa. It cannot make your problems go away, but what it can do is to help you deal with them better. How it achieves this is by breaking down a complex problem into smaller, more manageable units so that you can re-evaluate the way you normally respond and make the necessary changes. The sum total of these changes tends to have an effect on the way you generally feel.

How does it work?

The first step is a cognitive-behavioral assessment, which is done by a qualified and licensed psychologist. He/she identifies critical behavioral patterns, whether these behaviors are in excess or deficit, also noting intensity, duration, frequency and whether these need to be toned down or stepped up. After that, there is reconceptualization, skills consolidation, and application training, and post-treatment assessment follow-up in that order.

The phase of reconceptualization accounts for a major part of cognitive aspect of cognitive behavioral therapy. A general cognitive behavioral therapy program consists of some 6-18 face-to-face sessions with the therapist, each session being approximately an hour long and the time period between sessions 1-3 weeks. Cognitive behavioural therapy deals with current problems rather than unhappy incidents in the past. Because of its structured nature, it can also be done in groups and can be completed in a shorter period of time than other ‘talking’ therapies. Cognitive behavioral therapy is now an umbrella term that covers all cognitive-based psychotherapies like acceptance and commitment therapy, rational emotive therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, reality therapy/choice theory, cognitive processing therapy, EMDR or Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, and multimodal therapy.

Can it help me?

Cognitive behavioral therapy requires a commitment to change. A negative attitude is ‘I am not an interesting person’. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps one to replace that with ‘I am as interesting as everyone else’. Carol underwent cognitive behavioral therapy when she was going through depression following the death of her husband. She describes the sessions as intensely emotional because it meant reliving the loss, but it only took eight sessions to get over his demise. She now believes that CBT is better than resorting to antidepressants.

In Toronto cognitive behavior therapy can be useful for people suffering from mental health problems like anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), panic attacks, phobias, schizophrenia, mood disorders, insomnia, bulimia, anorexia, addiction, alcohol abuse and also physical ailments like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or CFS. The skills learnt in Ajax cognitive behavior therapy are transferable to real-world situations and can be a useful tool when confronting further problems in the future, even after the treatment has run its course.