What is the Most Challenging Aspect of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy session

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a time-sensitive, structured, present-oriented type of psychology to help individuals solve current problems and refocus dysfunctional thinking and behavior patterns. Ultimately, psychologists work with individuals using CBT to help them:

  • Address apprehensiveness and motivations of treatment
  • Address subtle emotional or cognitive states
  • Develop strategies to better cope with cravings and triggers
  • Develop strategies for avoiding high-risk situations
  • Explore the positives and negatives of their current ways of thinking and behaving
  • Engage in problem-solving skills

Much like an investigator would, CBT requires clients to take the lead on their recovery – they must identify, address, explore, analyze, accept, and work towards overcoming the barriers holding them back while replacing those destructive thoughts and beliefs with more positive, productive ways of thinking and doing. Some would say that this type of work is challenging because it requires the client to become truly active in their understanding of themselves. Many forms of CBT involve take-home exercises or journaling activities for clients to engage in while they’re not in session – making this a truly experiential form of treatment.

Other issues commonly experienced in CBT are feelings of guilt, shame, perfectionism, and tolerating strong feelings. In a sense, CBT is like holding up a mirror to our inner selves – it reflects to us what we’ve been doing that has been hindering us, just as much as it can shine light to the tools we currently possess that could strengthen our recovery. For many, these truths can be painful to experience, as nobody enjoys learning of what they’ve been doing wrong all of these years. However, past the pain is growth and learning – the ultimate transformation.

If you’ve been working with your therapist on CBT and you possess perfectionism qualities, you may at times feel challenged because you aren’t where you want to be. This is where you need to reel in the tools you’ve learned in therapy – accept where you’re at right now and acknowledge that you are doing the best you can with what you have, right at this instance. The road to recovery is a long one, because we spend out lives working diligently each day to become a better version of ourselves. Let this sink in, and don’t give up.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.