Posted by Dialogue on January 7, 2021

Virtual CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) plays an important role in Dialogue’s mental health program and EAP (employee assistance program) services. You may have heard the term CBT before, but you may not be clear on what it is, how it’s used, and what you can expect from it.

According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), CBT is a goal-oriented, practical, short-term form of psychotherapy that can help you develop the necessary skills to become and stay mentally healthy.

While long-term talk therapy tends to dig into the past for ways to cope in the present, CBT is more often focused on the here and now of handling day-to-day problems.  

CBT: Changing thought/emotion/behaviour loops

When you experience psychological distress, the way you interpret everyday situations can become skewed, unrealistic, and negative. 

CBT addresses mental health problems with the understanding that:

  • Our thoughts influence our feelings
  • Our feelings create our behaviours
  • Our behaviours reinforce the way that we think

Cognitive behavioural therapy encourages you to examine, and eventually change the way you think about and react to what’s happening around you. By altering your thought/emotion/behaviour loop, you can deal with various situations more constructively, and feel better about them. 

Goal-oriented, practical, short-term therapy 

CBT can be used to treat a wide range of mental health issues – including depression and anxiety disorders. Rather than simply talking about the way a situation makes you feel, CBT helps you explore the thought process leading to those emotions, with the goal of shifting automatic thinking patterns.

Cognitive behavioural therapy sessions walk you through a series of practical steps that include:

  • Identifying troubling conditions in your life
  • Practicing awareness of the thoughts, emotions, and beliefs surrounding those situations
  • Reshaping inaccurate or negative thought patterns

Dialogue’s mental health programs provide unlimited CBT sessions until remission occurs. It’s important to understand, however, that CBT isn’t intended to be ongoing psychotherapy.

What to expect from Dialogue’s CBT offering

CBT is an actionable form of therapy that promotes personal, independent growth. When you engage in cognitive behavioural therapy, you can expect to spend time:

  • Evaluating and correcting “pre-programmed” thoughts and assumptions
  • Practicing behaviour adjustments
  • Working toward specific change objectives by completing assignments after each session

CBT is meant to develop resilience and build coping skills you can apply and benefit from long after your therapy sessions are over. It may not cure your condition - or make an unpleasant situation go away - but it can empower you to cope in a healthier way, so you can feel better about yourself and your life.

To set you on the right road, Dialogue’s CBT offering is supported by a virtual, multidisciplinary mental health team experienced in treating acute and situational conditions. 

We take a goal-focused approach to evaluating patient progress and determining the number of CBT sessions needed to achieve a specific outcome. And we’ll help you work toward remission defined by the following criteria:

  • Psychotherapist feedback based on their clinical judgment
  • Progress in clinical symptoms of anxiety or depression based on GAD-7 or PHQ-9 test results
  • Personal confidence in your ability to leverage the skills learned to prevent a relapse

While the number of sessions required to achieve remission varies, a recent study of randomized cases from our Stress Management and Well-Being (SM&WB) program showed patients receiving therapy involving Dialogue’s psychologists or psychotherapists averaged between 5 and 6 consultations.

By promoting better control over unwanted thoughts and behaviours, CBT is considered one of the most effective ways to improve mental wellbeing in a determined amount of time. 

Wondering if you could benefit from speaking to a psychotherapist or mental health specialist?

Sign in to Dialogue and take our stress questionnaire to find out.

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Topics: Health and Wellness