Learn new habits and beliefs with Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), one of the 3 SELF ReClaimed behavioral strategies.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Albert Einstein

Have you ever wondered why things don’t change?  Let’s review the definition of insanity:  “doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result.”  So, how do you get a different result?  You change your thinking.  Think about the answers to the following questions.  How did you learn to ride a bike?  How did you learn to tie your shoe?   How did you learn to spell a word?   Answer:  someone demonstrated the skills; you listened, you applied, you practiced, and you succeeded.  Learning new habits and beliefs isn’t any different.  If you weren’t born an expert shoe-tier or an expert bike rider, what makes you think you can be an expert at changing your “results,” if you don’t “learn” a new behavior or habit to help you reach that desired result?


Cognitive Behavior Therapy, flow-chartCBT is based on the cognitive model: the way we perceive situations influences how we feel emotionally. For example, two people are presented the same information about a new project at work.  One person might think that a new project is very exciting; that it will present a new challenge, and be inspiring to work with a team, etc.  Another person might be terrified; thinking it will be too difficult, it will take up too much time and that working with a team will be stressful.  So it is not the situation that directly affects how people feel emotionally, but rather, their thoughts about the situation. CBT helps people identify limiting beliefs and evaluate how realistic the belief really is.

This concept will help you identify, evaluate, and respond to dysfunctional thoughts and beliefs.  It is solution-focused and goal-oriented, as well as emphasizing the present.  It is educative, structured, directive and includes homework “self-assignments” (biblio-therapy, mood logs, journaling, etc).  CBT initiates behavioral change by providing a variety of techniques to change thinking and mood.  It teaches you how to be your own therapist.


Psych+CentralPsych Central explains that in the 1960s, Aaron T. Beck, a psychiatrist, observed that during his analytical sessions, his patients tended to have an internal dialogue going on in their minds, almost as if they were talking to themselves. But they would only report a fraction of this kind of thinking to him. Beck realized that the link between thoughts and feelings was very important. He invented the term automatic thoughts to describe emotion-filled thoughts that might pop up in the mind. Beck found that people weren’t always fully aware of such thoughts, but could learn to identify and report them. If a person was feeling upset in some way, the thoughts were usually negative and neither realistic nor helpful. Beck found that identifying these thoughts was the key to the client understanding and overcoming his or her difficulties.

beck institute


In hundreds of clinical trials, CBT has been demonstrated to be an effective treatment for a wide variety of disorders.
To name just a few, it has been found useful for:


Psychiatric Disorders:

  • Depression

  • Personality Disorders

  • Eating Disorders

  • Anxiety Disorders

  • Substance Abuse and (along with medication)
    Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia

Medical Disorders:

  • Chronic or Acute Pain

  • Sleep Disorders 

  • Eating Disorders

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

  • Obesity

  • Pre-menstrual Syndrome

  • Colitis

  • Gulf War Syndrome

psychological problems:

  • Relationship Difficulties

  • Anger 

  • Compulsivity

CBT is also used to address stress, low self-esteem, grief and loss, work-related problems and problems associated with aging.



CBT is the gold standard treatment for binge-eating disorder.


Dr. Robert Leahy explains Cognitive Therapy.

Part 1

Part 2


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