Conducting Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is deemed pretty straightforward.
- Explain to the individual how thoughts lead to feelings.
- You examine the individual’s beliefs.
- You bring out how they are distorting their thoughts hence the negative emotions.
- You help the client change their views.
- You tell them to implement a few behaviors.
Here are tips for therapists to ensure success.
Table of Contents
WORK ON RAPPORT
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), short term treatment; there are therapists who feel the need to immediately delve into the theory behind CBT and start citing central beliefs from their clients. This is important; however, in the first session, establish rapport. A comfortable client talks more and is more open. The first session should be primarily a bonding for both client and therapist. A successful CBT is founded on great rapport.
GIVE THEM HOMEWORK IN THE FIRST SESSION
However, CBT is a time-limited process, and you want to teach your client and start to move them forward quickly. Your client needs to leave therapy feeling hopeful. Request your clients to answer a few questionnaires or reflect in a journal for the next session. Giving homework in the first session jump-starts the client’s recovery process.
MAKE SURE THEY BUY-IN
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is founded on a specific theory, and for some people, it may be hard to swallow. Some clients may not buy into the view that a simple change in behavior will result in a life change. You should always note that unless the client buys into the idea that this could work, they will not be invested in treatment. Therefore, ensure you address the concerns of the client. They may evade the question but ensure you get to the root cause. Clients participate in therapy because they believe it could work; if they don’t believe it, it won’t work.
STAY ON TRACK, BUT BE FLEXIBLE
It is effortless to digress in therapy. At times the client comes in and repeatedly vents about what a terrible week they had, and before you know it, time is up. It is crucial to discuss events occurring in the client’s life despite the theoretical background. However, the therapist must be quick to bring the discussion back to the issue at hand. Venting out is not necessarily helpful in addressing deep-seated concerns.
ASK FOR AND PROVIDE FEEDBACK
Therapists are ordinary people. As much as they want to believe that they are objective, they still have a biased perspective. That is why it is essential to ask your client for feedback. You want to know how they are viewing the treatment and if they have questions/concerns. In CBT, clients must understand the theoretical framework and experience positive results within the first few months. Should the client feel that they are hardly making any progress, this should be addressed and reevaluated. Always ask for and provide feedback; it helps gauge the progress so far.