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How Can CBT Help?

Topic Overview

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps you think in a healthy way. You learn to replace the discouraging things you tell yourself with positive thoughts.

Many people work with a therapist or a counselor to learn CBT. But you also can practice skills for healthier thinking on your own.

Changing thoughts

CBT can help you notice thoughts that make you feel bad. You learn to stop these thoughts and replace them with helpful ones. An example might be repeating a put-down to yourself. Or you may focus on one small criticism from your boss, while forgetting the good comments. With CBT, you learn ways to change these thoughts, so you feel better about yourself.

Changing behavior

Doing things that help you stay positive is another part of CBT. For example, you might visit friends more or make a schedule to help manage your time. Relieving stress or getting plenty of sleep can help too.

Working with a counselor

You might choose to work with a counselor. A counselor can help you learn to use CBT. Ask your doctor, family, or friends if they can recommend someone.

Before choosing a counselor, call ahead of time for a short interview. You can ask the counselor if he or she has training in CBT and uses it often. Choose someone you feel comfortable with. Get more tips on finding a counselor.

If you often have upsetting thoughts, watch for signs of depression.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
Last Revised February 2, 2012

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