Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

What is CBT

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is widely recognized for its structured, evidence-based approach to therapy. It focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors, empowering individuals to challenge distorted thinking and develop adaptive coping strategies. Its effectiveness in addressing a wide range of mental health conditions has made it one of the most researched and utilized forms of psychotherapy worldwide, providing practical solutions for clients and tangible tools for therapists (Beck, 2020; Hofmann et al., 2014).

Integrating CBT into my Practice

In my private practice, I often encounter clients seeking a direct approach to address specific behaviors or problems. While my inclination is to explore issues phenomenologically, understanding them within the broader context of clients’ lives and values, I recognize the need for a practical CBT approach with certain clients. Although philosophically contrasting, I’ve found ways to integrate CBT techniques into my existential-phenomenological framework (Dobson, 2019; van Deurzen, 2009).

For example, I’ve successfully incorporated third-wave CBT techniques like mindfulness, which fosters self-awareness and coping skills, aligning with existential themes. Additionally, exploring clients’ core beliefs, a key aspect of CBT, extends the phenomenological enquiry, integrating CBT techniques into an existential framework.

CBT offers practical tools to bridge the gap between awareness and application, empowering clients to implement meaningful changes aligned with their values and meaning. With structured exercises and goal-setting techniques tailored to existential concerns, clients can progress toward their aspirations.

Enhancing Client Experience

Especially with young adult clients, the structure and formality of CBT can be beneficial. Providing practical exercises and tangible frameworks for progress can foster autonomy, control, and authenticity. This integrated approach broadens the appeal of therapy services and enhances overall effectiveness, making therapy more accessible to diverse clients (Cooper, 2017; Keshen, 2006).

While integrating CBT into an existential-based practice presents challenges, an integrative approach can address clients’ multifaceted needs effectively. By amalgamating diverse theoretical orientations and therapeutic techniques, therapists can offer comprehensive support to clients, enhancing their therapeutic journey and potentially broadening the appeal of therapy services (Norcross et al., 2019; Palmer & Woolfe, 2000).



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Existential psychotherapy is a therapeutic approach that recognises the unique nature of each individual and helps them navigate the fundamental questions of existence. It explores themes such as freedom, choice, responsibility, and the quest for personal meaning, empowering clients to live in alignment with their authentic selves.