CBT, is an evidence-based practice that many therapists use. In its basic form, it focuses on looking at thoughts associated with behaviors and then changing our thoughts in order to change our behavior.
When I use CBT in my office, I help people identify the underlying thoughts that are currently supporting any beliefs, action, or behavior that they want to change. People often think that their behaviors or emotions are automatic, and it’s interesting to see them realize that there’s usually a step prior to the emotion or the behavior that they have.
It typically starts with a thought, and when you break it down into these tiny steps, clients are usually surprised to find “oh, I guess that’s the supporting thought that I have.” Once we identify the thought, we begin with trying to change that thought; how to replace it, how to come up with another thought. Then they have a little arsenal of opposite thoughts to help them in the moment, which they have to keep practicing all the time.