What is cognitive behavioral therapy?

CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) is a form of structured talk therapy that you would set up with a qualified professional. Essentially there are 3 foundational elements that make up CBT:

  1. Thoughts
  2. Emotions
  3. Behavior

Thoughts are things like images or sentences that run through your head. Emotions are described in one word such as, happy, sad, anger, disgust. Finally, you have behavior which are things that you do, like running, push-ups, sitting, or watching TV. The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy is to modify a person’s emotions through examining and changing the way they think and act.

“You can only indirectly modify your emotional state by modifying your behavior and modifying how you think about things.” – Dr. Ryan Todd

A way for you to try CBT at home is to write down everything you feel or do in those 3 categories. What are your behaviors, what are your thoughts, what are your emotions when you’re experiencing something that is very intense?  Understand them and think/write down ways that you can change how you behave or the way you spoke to yourself in that situation.

The next time you experience that same intensity, you’ll become more aware of how your body is reacting and some of the steps you can actively take to remedy the situation.


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