Cognitive-behavioral therapy does not exist as a distinct therapeutic technique.
The term “cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)” is a very general term for a classification of therapies with similarities. There are several approaches to cognitive-behavioral therapy, including Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Rational Behavior Therapy, Rational Living Therapy, Cognitive Therapy, and Dialectic Behavior Therapy.
However, most California Cognitive-Behavioral programs have the following characteristics:
1. CCBI programs are based on the Cognitive Model of Emotional Response. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, not external things, like people, situations, and events. The benefit of this fact is that we can change the way we think to feel / act better even if the situation does not change.
2. CCBI programs are briefer and time-limited. What enables CBT to be briefer is its highly instructive nature and the fact it makes use of homework assignments. CBT is time-limited in that most sessions total 16 with a beginning and ending process that will be made by the client and counselor. It is not an open ended never-ending process.
3. CCBI knows sound therapeutic relationship is necessary for effective outcomes, but is not the focus. Some forms of therapy assume people get better because of the positive relationship between therapist and client. CBI therapists believe that clients change because they LEARN how to think differently and act on that learning. Therefore CCBI focuses on teaching rational self-counseling skills.
4. CCBI is a collaborative effort. California Cognitive Behavioral Institute seeks to learn what our clients want out of life (their goals) and then helps our clients achieve those goals. We listen, teach, encourage, and empower, while the client express’s concerns, learns and implements what is learned.
5. CCBI wants to gain a good understanding of their clients concerns and ask question to accomplish this. They encourage clients to ask questions of themselves as well. They help clients to see other perspectives and to “reframe” experiences.
6. CCBI has a specific agenda for each session. Special techniques/concepts are taught focusing on the clients goals at the same time. We don’t tell our clients what to do – but rather teach our clients HOW to do.
7. CCBI uses an educational model. CBT is based on scientifically supported assumptions that most emotional and behavioral reactions are learned so we can help clients “unlearn” unwanted reactions and “learn” new ways of reacting. Homework assignments reinforces and solidifies “new” information learned.
California Cognitive Behavioral Institute believes Awareness + Action = Change. When people understand how and why they are doing something well, they know what to do to continue doing well.