CBT stands for “Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.” It is a system based on cognitive science that experts developed to help people improve their thoughts and feelings. When they could do this, their lives also improve! ABC stands for “Activation-Behavior-Consequences.”
The model tells us that when we find ourselves in a situation that feels uncomfortable, it activates us to think and feel negatively about it. Activates means to trigger something or turn something on, in this case, our thoughts and feelings. When we feel under stress, we do something to try and make it better, right? Well, sometimes that behavior is negative or out of place. Others may react badly, we may hurt others’ feelings, make them angry, or damage things. These are the bad consequences of what we have done. And, it often becomes worse the next time around!
But, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, or CBT for short, teaches us skills so that we can recognize and check our thoughts and feelings before they can have consequences. We learn to look at a negative thought and feeling as it enters our bodies and minds. We decide if it is true and helpful; what is the best way to respond to it. As a result, our behavior is more appropriate and acceptable to others. They respond positively. This makes us feel better and good about ourselves.
So, in short, the CBT ABC program helps us to know and understand our thoughts and feelings. It gives us time to check what we think and feel before doing something that may not help. In the next few weeks, techniques and methods are explained in a simple, step-by-step way that helps your child and you work together to improve his or her day-to-day functioning. This includes moods, behavior, social relations, and performance in daily school and home tasks.
Next, we look at how to take the first step to improvement!