• Jeff Holland

A Word on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psycho-social intervention that aims to improve mental health. CBT focuses on challenging and changing unhelpful cognitive distortions (e.g. thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes) and behaviors, improving emotional regulation, and the development of personal coping strategies that target solving current problems. Originally, it was designed to treat depression, but its uses have been expanded to include treatment of a number of mental health conditions, including anxiety. CBT includes a number of cognitive or behaviour psychotherapies that treat defined psychopathologies using evidence-based techniques and strategies.

CBT is different from historical approaches to psychotherapy, such as the psychoanalytic approach where the therapist looks for the unconscious meaning behind the behaviors and then formulates a diagnosis. Instead, CBT is a "problem-focused" and "action-oriented" form of therapy, meaning it is used to treat specific problems related to a diagnosed mental disorder.

I was just given access to an app called Thrive, which may be available to you through your health plan, healthcare provider, employer, or university as they do not currently sell access directly to individuals.

Thrive is for people who want to take charge of their emotional well-being to lead happier, more satisfying lives. It teaches techniques from cognitive behavior therapy, or CBT, a method that has been clinically proven to help many people with conditions like anxiety, depression and stress. It's designed to help people communicate more confidently, think more constructively, and do more activities that make them feel good.

Thrive teaches CBT techniques through engaging videos, and provides the opportunity for individuals to practice them online using interactive tools and offline in people’s everyday lives. The app shares insight and progress reports and tracks gains as users make progress. It's a little like taking a class for a person’s emotional health.

There are other tools and resources on CBT you can find online or at your local library and I would encourage you to check them out if you're feeling anxious or stressed.

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