Rehov Hatsanchanim 20, Apt. 14, Rehovot, Israel
Tel: (in Israel): 054-4258464
(from overseas): 972-54-4258464
What is Cognitive- Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?
CBT is a goal-orientated, evidence-based focused type of psychotherapy, usually (but not always) short-term. In Israel and Europe it is also known as Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy. Jewish tradition teaches us that the ancient Israelites received the Torah with the response: Naaseh vNishma , first we'll "do" and then we'll "listen". This tradition adheres to a blind observance based on faith. I see the "Torah" of CBT as first we'll "listen" and then we'll "do". The listening refers to the cognitive element of the therapy. As we listen to our therapist and read related articles or books he/she assigns to us, we learn to identify our sometimes irrational, automatic thoughts. They often pass through our minds so quickly that we don't even recognize them. With CBT we'll learn not only to recognize our own automatic thoughts, but to correct their distortions. Once we understand our cognitive errors then we can move on to the next phase- "doing". "Do" in CBT refers to the behavioral exercises we are assigned to do as we learn to feel better and modify our behaviors. Maimonides described the process already 900 years ago: "How does a person internalize these (corrected) practices till they become his habit? He learns (the cognitive element of CBT- B.G.) and practices moderate behaviors over and over again (the behavioral element of CBT – B.G.) repeating until little effort or distress is involved, this is how the moderate practices become habit." CBT always requires the fulfillment of agreed-upon assignments between sessions.
How is Depression treated with CBT?
Often, severe distress, anxiety, and difficulty with daily functioning accompany depression. Sleep disturbances occur, either difficulty falling asleep or early rising, there is a lack of appetite, desire, and social withdrawal. In severe cases there may be ideation of suicide. CBT deals directly with the root of the problem: irrational automatic thoughts that feed our depression. The patient learns to understand the distortion in his/her thinking and corrects it.