Cognitive Behavioral Therapy 101
Updated: Jul 7, 2022
Most of the counseling games available on this site incorporate CBT. I created some tutorial videos to explain some of the concepts and skills addressed in our games. See the videos below.
It is so helpful to know how to challenge irrational thoughts! I wish I had known this information as a child/teen! Some kids are shocked to discover that untrue thoughts will pop in their head. I explain arguing against these thoughts like having a court battle in your brain. After you decide a thought is not valid, it loses its emotional power over you.
Affirmations are positive self-talk statements to speak over yourself. It can take a while for a new thought to get from your brain down to your heart. It helps to meditate on these affirmations repetitively for them to take affect.
Grounding techniques are coping skills to use when feeling out of control. They help the brain focus on what is happening here and now instead of remembering past traumas or events. They also help to get the mind off of a trigger and on something calming. This helps to turn off the fight or flight response.
Related Post: How is Cognitive Behavioral Counseling Used with Children?
Thought stopping and replacement skills are a foundational in CBT. In order to stop a negative thought, you first must be able to identify it. The more you focus on negative thoughts, the more upsetting feelings you will experience. Likewise, focusing on positive thoughts will bring about more peaceful and calming feelings.
Visualization is focusing your thoughts on a calming scene or a picture in your mind. This can be used to calm your body when feeling out of control, a way to settle thoughts when trying to go to sleep, and to help you envision success before you start something that is challenging. You can picture yourself in a happy place or you can "watch" a movie in your mind. It is a powerful coping mechanism to help you feel in control even in difficult situations.