What do Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Therapists do?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Cognitive behavioral therapy therapists may use counseling as a way to alleviate distress.
Cognitive behavioral therapy therapists may use counseling as a way to alleviate distress.

Also known as CBT therapists, cognitive behavioral therapy therapists utilize a treatment strategy known as cognitive behavioral therapy to aid patients in changing their perceptions regarding the occurrence of events that tend to cause a great deal of emotional distress. While the same basic methods are used in each case, the application of those methods may vary somewhat based on the needs of the individual patient. The ultimate goal of a cognitive behavioral therapy therapist is to assist the patient in overcoming the fear and sense of despair that is part of the older perceptions, and replacing those negative emotions and responses with a sense of strength and empowerment.

Someone dealing with depression might seek a behavioral therapist's help.
Someone dealing with depression might seek a behavioral therapist's help.

The work of cognitive behavioral therapy therapists often focuses on patient who are dealing with different types of anxiety disorders and phobias that result in the triggering of panic attacks. Therapists of this type may also work with patients who are undergoing moderate to severe depression as the result of one or more life traumas. In all these situations, the goal is to help the patient begin to see their circumstances in a different way, one that helps to weaken the responses to the triggers and allow the patient to regain a more balanced emotional and mental state.

The practice of journaling may be incorporated into cognitive behavioral therapy.
The practice of journaling may be incorporated into cognitive behavioral therapy.

Cognitive behavioral therapy therapists often work with individuals who experience panic attacks that are triggered by phobias. The exact course of treatment involved will adapt to the specific type of phobia that the patient exhibits. For example, if the patient is suffering with agoraphobia, a fear of open spaces, the therapist may educate the patient in some methods that help to undermine the sense of fear and impending disaster that is triggered by being in a public setting such as a store, a sports arena, or even walking down the street.

Overcoming fear sometimes involves confronting the thing that a person is afraid of.
Overcoming fear sometimes involves confronting the thing that a person is afraid of.

Those methods are often put to the test when cognitive behavioral therapy therapists take patients into the settings that normally cause a great deal of distress. Here, the cognitive behavioral therapist remains with the patient, helping him or her to slowly learn how to accept the rush of emotions and embrace them rather than fearing them. In time, the patient begins to perceive the fears as not having the power once attributed to them, which in turn helps to decrease the ability of those fears to limit the patient to only going places that are perceived as safe.

Someone suffering from agoraphobia may fear riding in elevators, so safe, controlled rides may help ease the symptoms.
Someone suffering from agoraphobia may fear riding in elevators, so safe, controlled rides may help ease the symptoms.

In some cases, cognitive behavioral therapists utilize counseling, role playing and sensory exposure along with the use of medication to help reduce the severity of the emotional and mental distress that has taken over the patient’s life. This approach can often help to keep the symptoms in check while the underlying physical factors and their emotional manifestations are slowly corrected. When successful, cognitive behavioral therapy therapists help patients to recover from their phobias and regain the power to go places and do things without experiencing the crippling fear they once did.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including , and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including , and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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    • Cognitive behavioral therapy therapists may use counseling as a way to alleviate distress.
      By: Lisa F. Young
      Cognitive behavioral therapy therapists may use counseling as a way to alleviate distress.
    • Someone dealing with depression might seek a behavioral therapist's help.
      By: Alexander Raths
      Someone dealing with depression might seek a behavioral therapist's help.
    • The practice of journaling may be incorporated into cognitive behavioral therapy.
      By: anyaberkut
      The practice of journaling may be incorporated into cognitive behavioral therapy.
    • Overcoming fear sometimes involves confronting the thing that a person is afraid of.
      By: Sergey Mostovoy
      Overcoming fear sometimes involves confronting the thing that a person is afraid of.
    • Someone suffering from agoraphobia may fear riding in elevators, so safe, controlled rides may help ease the symptoms.
      By: Carsten Reisinger
      Someone suffering from agoraphobia may fear riding in elevators, so safe, controlled rides may help ease the symptoms.