Cognitive behavior therapy helps a client to develop a more positive way of thinking about life situations. The client is responsible for discovering and nurturing better mental attitudes and subsequent positive emotional responses. The client is in control of his or her therapy by setting achievable goals. The therapist is there to assist and direct the client’s progress.
Clients unlearn old patterns of thinking and behaving and learn new thought patterns and techniques. They also learn to turn off negative thinking patterns. This is accomplished through purposeful dialogue with the therapist. The learning that takes place during a session is bolstered through the assignment of homework. A client is usually given additional reading as well as some practice drills that reinforce the new thinking and feeling techniques. For example, a client will go through real life scenarios that elicit negative patterns with their therapist and then “practice” managing their thinking on their own in their life.