CBT, DBT and ACT

I’m grateful to be able to incorporate insights and practices from cognitive behavioural therapy in my practice. Here are some of the things that I’ve learned from these groundbreaking approaches to improved wellbeing.

CBT: Anyone interested in the science of mental health must learn from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT. Most significant is the ABC model – the idea that it is our beliefs about an event, and not the event itself, that defines our feelings and triggers our behaviour. This is a fundamental resource for change: We don’t control events around us but we can learn to change our interpretations of these events and to identify unhelpful patterns of thinking that lead us to feel bad and cope poorly.

DBT and ACT: Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT, pronounced like the word) are therapies that incorporate skill building and empowerment. Mindfulness is central to both.

DBT is wonderful in its focus on validation – first of oneself, and radical acceptance – the idea that change is most effective and possible when we accept ourselves and the situation we’re in. Click here for more about this seeming contradiction.

ACT contributes ideas and tools for emotional coping and reminds us that our lives will be more vital and joyous when we know what values and experiences we are living for.

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