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5 Common Techniques of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapist

During Cognitive Behavioral Therapy the client and therapist collaborate through an open dialogue to develop a problem definition and goal.  Goals can be behavioral, cognitive, or physical in nature and can be defined by problem or process.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy uses a range of therapeutic techniques to achieve these goals.  Ultimately, however, despite the vast toolbox of techniques, client change is related to his/her investment in the process of CBT.

5 Common Cognitive Behavioral Techniques:

  1. Socratic Questioning: Questioning allows the therapist to stimulate the client’s self-awareness, focus in on the problem definition, expose the client’s belief system, and challenge irrational beliefs while revealing the clients cognitive processes.
  2. Homework: To assist with cognitive restructuring, clients are often assigned homework.   Typical CBT homework assignments may include activities in behavioral activation, monitoring automatic thoughts, reviewing the previous therapy session, and preparing for the next therapy session.
  3. Self-Monitoring: Also called diary work, self-monitoring is used to record the amount and degree of thoughts and behaviors. This provides the client and therapist information regarding the degree of a client’s negative affirmations.
  4. Behavioral Experiments: The experiment process includes experiencing, observing, reflecting, and planning.  These steps are conducted through thought testing, discovery, activity, and/or observation.
  5. Systematic Desensitization: Systematic Desensitization pairs relaxation with exposure to something stressful.  Clients are taught to relax in anxiety producing situations.

If you live in the Lehigh Valley, including Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, and surrounding areas and would like to discuss your goals with a cognitive behavioral therapist, simply complete the form on the right or call (610) 434-1540 to schedule an appointment.