Ottawa Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
If you have been struggling with anxiety or depression, and are currently seeking treatment in Ottawa, most likely you will have come across the term “Cognitive Behavioural Therapy” or CBT. It has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, anger management, eating disorders, and chronic stress. So if you are seeking out an Ottawa cognitive therapist, what should you expect? Check out our blog to learn more about how cognitive behavioural therapy can help turn negative thoughts into positive experiences.
The Premise of Cognitive Therapy
The main idea of cognitive therapy is that powerful negative beliefs about the self and others cause and maintain the distress we experience. These thoughts and beliefs then shape our emotional responses and the way that we act (behaviours) that further reinforce our negative beliefs. For example, if one is experiencing anxiety about work performance, a negative thought that might occur is that “I will get fired because I am working too slow”. This thought can trigger an anxious response, which often involves feeling sweaty, having a dry mouth, rapid heart rate and rapid, shallow breathing. This can result in three typical responses: fight, flight, or freeze. If you find yourself freezing, it can further re-enforce the belief that you will get fired from being too slow on the job.
How Ottawa Cognitive Therapy Can Help
Cognitive therapists attempt to alleviate distress and change symptoms through addressing the main negative beliefs. This is accomplished first by learning to identify the negative patterns that are being caused by the negative thoughts, and learning to interrupt these patterns. This is done by either providing a substitute thought through a balanced counter belief, or learning to accept and then let go of the negative beliefs that one carries in a way that does not impact one’s behaviour.
How Does it Work?
Generally cognitive therapy is tool and homework based, meaning that it involves completing exercises outside of the therapy room. These tools often include thought records, which help to go through the process of identifying the automatic negative thoughts that stem from one’s core negative beliefs, and developing authentic balanced responses. At times, CBT is combined with relaxation techniques, which aim to further interrupt the negative patterns and manage the emotional response that is caused by the negative thoughts.
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Our Ottawa Cognitive Therapy Services
We have several psychologists, social workers, and psychotherapists in Ottawa that have been trained in, and offer cognitive therapy. In order to book a session with one of our CBT therapists that is closest to you, you can either use the tool to the right, and put Cognitive Therapy as an expertise, or call intake at 613-425-4257. We would be happy to help you set up an appointment.
Is Cognitive Therapy right for me?
- I am looking for an approach that is skill and homework based
- I believe that right now it is my negative thought patterns that are underlying my difficulties
- I would like an approach that is goal oriented and structured