Mr. Doug Garner has been using Cognitive Behavioral Health (CBT) for many years and finds it very effective therapy to use with his clients, especially for anxiety and depression.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is instruction-based therapy, which teaches the patient to begin to think critically and dialectically about thoughts and behaviors arising during difficult situations. Difficult situations may be defined in diverse fashion. A person who gets panic attacks after talking to family members would evaluate what thoughts appear to be contributing to panic, and how rational, logical or truthful these thoughts are. Using worksheets, patients learn to rate their emotional state, (panic, anger, depression, or others) before analyzing their thoughts, and then to rate it again after questioning their thoughts.
Once a person has learned the basic method of cognitive behavioral therapy, they review work with a therapist, usually once a week. This review focuses on the work done, and looks toward more work that can be done in order to be able to create a more thinking approach to high emotions and difficult situations. The end goal is to use thinking to unlearn and replace negative emotions, thoughts and reactions with more positive ones.
There is only so much that can be accomplished with cognitive behavioral therapy. Even those who become skilled at evaluating how learned behaviors or thoughts of the past make situations worse, may not always be able to control these behaviors just by thinking about them and trying to replace them. People with true mental illness such as depression, panic disorder or bipolar conditions may need additional support of medication. CBT alone can make matters frustrating, because even with logical parsing and questioning of ideas, a person may not be able to fully rid themselves of extremely negative emotions that are chemically based.