Topic 10: CBT Myths & CBT Competence {by 11/19}

[CBT Myths] – (1) Identify at least one common CBT myth you have heard from other people/professionals.  What are your thoughts when you hear such comments?  (2) Why do you think some of these myths continue to exist?  (3) What can you do to help dispel some of these myths?

[CBT Competence] – (1) How can it be a problem if CBT therapists has a strong aversion to practicing CBT techniques on themselves?  (2) What are some possible indicators to determine if you are receiving quality CBT supervision?  What type of feedback from your supervisor do you think would be most beneficial to your professional development as a CBT therapist?  (3) What are some possible negative outcomes if you do not stay up to date with CBT knowledge and skills?

Your original post should be posted by 11/19.  Have your two replies posted no later than 11/21.  *Please remember to click the “reply” button when posting a reply.  This makes it easier for the reader to follow the blog postings.

26 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Allie Supernor
    Nov 15, 2020 @ 09:29:29

    Part One- CBT Myths:
    I think after listening to the lecture the most common myth I have heard from others is that CBT is simply a fancy approach to positive thinking. CBT is so much more than just changing the words in a thought, because that does not foster any lasting behavior change, at all! This myth largely appears due to the lack of knowledge about the foundations of CBT. CBT goes way beyond surface outcomes. CBT fosters an internal process of change and modifying their invalid negative automatic thoughts that is so much deeper. I think the best way to help dispel this myth, and others like it, is just showing them otherwise. You can address these myths in a professional conversation, which will ultimately reduce ignorance across the field, and more importantly, increase quality of care for clients.

    Part Two- CBT Competence:
    (1). Having a strong aversion to practicing CBT techniques on yourself can be quite alarming and directly correlated with poor treatment outcomes in clients. If you don’t see the benefits of using these empirically supported techniques on yourself, this will absolutely be noticed by your clients. As we talked a lot about Rogerian skills in therapy, clients can absolutely pick up on these queues. You will most likely present as disingenuous if you do not believe what you are asking them to do. Additionally, you will reduce their hope and motivation. And, as previously mentioned, this will result in poor treatment outcomes. (2). It is vital that you receive CBT supervision as part of your training. This supervision should take place after graduation. The more experienced your supervisor is in CBT, the greater potential for you to learn and master cognitive-behavioral therapy. You know you are getting good supervision when the supervisor is observing your skills live. Ideally, it is best to have your supervisor observe your sessions live. Live is better because it can provide more contextual information and assessment of therapeutic skills. However, if that is not feasible then an audio recording would be sufficient. You also know you’re receiving supervision if the supervisor is apart of your group therapy sessions to observe and guide you! It is important for your professional development as a CBT therapist, that you receive constructive criticism throughout your supervision process. You would want feedback on your case formulation, as well as your conceptualization skills/techniques (3). It is very important to continue training after graduation to further develop your CBT skills and stay up to date with CBT development. Just like other theoretical orientations, CBT is ever-changing. You do not want to be using the same techniques from decades ago. Although not all techniques will change or change drastically. There may be some shifts in the field you should keep up with. If you don’t you could lose credibility and eventually produce poorer treatment outcomes.

    Reply

    • Madi
      Nov 16, 2020 @ 16:14:00

      Hi Allie,
      I agree with you and I think that most of these CBT myths come from a lack of education. to fight back against this it is out job to educate others about how powerful CBT can be. I also agree with you that it would be a huge red flag to refuse to do CBT on oneself. I said a similar thing about how important it is to get live or taped supervision.

      Reply

    • Alison Kahn
      Nov 17, 2020 @ 19:26:51

      Allie,

      I have also frequently heard that CBT is a “fancy” approach to positive thinking. It’s super frustrating to think that some individuals believe CBT therapy is just “thinking positively” after learning about how intricate and effective the treatment model truly is. I agree with you that this myth is likely due to people not having knowledge of the deeper processes of CBT which aim to challenge and modify negative thoughts rather than just cover them up or ignore them!

      Reply

    • Francesca DePergola
      Nov 17, 2020 @ 20:23:11

      Hi Allie,
      I totally agree with you about the myth you chose. I feel like I have heard that before and it makes me a little irritated because you are right, CBT is much more than that. I agree with you in the ways that I could help dispel these myths as well. It is really important to make sure that others get educated if they are believing a certain thing about a therapy you might be using, especially if that person is the client. In your second part, I really like how talked about constructive criticism because that is exactly what I had mentioned in my post as well. I think that would be very important to becoming a more well-rounded therapist who will provide the best care for their clients.

      Reply

    • Christopher LePage
      Nov 19, 2020 @ 15:49:08

      Hi Allie,
      I really liked the point you made that CBT does not simply impact surface level issues. I too feel that this is a common misconception when it comes to CBT, and it is problematic since we know CBT can do so much more. The reason that I say this is problematic thinking, it because for people outside of our field, and are seeking help, may feel that CBT is not intensive enough to uncover their true issues. Most people feel stigmatized going into therapy, making it an uncomfortable experience for some, thus making them feel therapy may not be worth it for them. If we can educate others into understanding that CBT can uncover these deeper issues, and not just surface level issues, they may feel more comfortable seeking therapy.

      Reply

  2. Madi
    Nov 15, 2020 @ 16:15:35

    1. CBT Myths
    a. One CBT myth that I have heard from others is that CBT doesn’t actually help the main issue. When I hear people say things like this I think that they’ve never actually be in therapy or had therapy with a good CBT therapist. As CBT therapy does help to effect long term change in a client.
    b. Some of these myths continue to exist from a lack of education around psychology and therapy in general. I personally have had to defend the usefulness of therapy and specifically CBT therapy. I find that there is just a lot of misconceptions about CBT and people do not fact check.
    c. In order to dispel these myths, personally when I hear someone say something that is untrue about CBT I correct the person in the moment. Hopefully, then people will become more educated about CBT and educate others.
    2. CBT Competence
    a. It is a big problem is a CBT therapist won’t be CBT on themselves. First, it creates a disconnect between the therapist and the client, where if the therapist is engaging in CBT therapy there can be more empathy and understanding for what the therapist is asking of their client. Second, if a therapist lets this bleed into their session with their client the client won’t want to do the work if the therapist would not.
    b. Some indicators of good supervision would be if the supervisor wanted to look at a recording of the session so that the supervisor can truly critique how you are actually conducting therapy. A supervisor who wants more than just a report shows that they don’t just want your perspective but actually how the session went. I think the actual record of what happened provides better feedback than how the therapist thinks it went. With a recording a supervisor can give concrete advice and suggestions.
    c. If you do not stay up to date with the techniques then you will stay in the past with how best to treat clients. For example, if a person who was trained with the DSM-2 would still hold that homosexuality is a disorder. If this person did not stay up to date then they could still treat homosexuality as something that needs to be cured, that person would be doing unethical therapy.

    Reply

    • Allie Supernor
      Nov 17, 2020 @ 16:24:13

      Hey Madi, I’ve also heard that CBT doesn’t actually work and that CBT only treats surface-level symptoms!! This is so mind-blowing to me as CBT digs deep down passed Negative Automatic Thoughts and Core Beliefs. I agree with you and said a similar thing in my post. We definitely represent the field and should educate colleagues, other therapists, even clients, on the therapeutic effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy. I also believe it comes from a level of ignorance. Not necessarily even in a bad way always, just a lack of knowledge.

      Reply

    • Alison Kahn
      Nov 17, 2020 @ 19:36:39

      Madi,

      I really enjoyed your discussion around the need to stay up to date with CBT and the example you provided. It is so true that our field is always evolving and advancing, and that not staying up to date could result in practicing with outdated and inaccurate practices which could potentially cause harm to our clients.

      Reply

    • Haley Scola
      Nov 21, 2020 @ 17:32:33

      Hi Madi,
      I’ve never heard the myth that CBT doesn’t work long term before but I think that thought is crazy. Obviously those people are uneducated on the subject and haven’t read up on the scientific literature that proves otherwise. I also agree that therapists who don’t use CBT in their own lives are missing out on important aspects of therapy such as rapport as you mentioned. Overall great post and very insightful thoughts.

      Reply

  3. Alison Kahn
    Nov 17, 2020 @ 19:23:26

    Part 1:
    1) In my job, I have often heard people discuss CBT as being only “fit” for clients that are motivated to make changes. I have also heard comments about individuals not being intelligent enough to benefit from CBT. I have personally worked with individuals who are completely unmotivated (at least at first) or do not even recognize that making changes could improve their overall quality of life. I have also worked with individuals that straddle the line between CBT and ABA modalities of therapy and may be thought by other professionals to be too intellectually deficit to engage in CBT therapy. I would argue that CBT can be successful on a variety of different clients with different diagnoses and needs. I would also argue that CBT can be adjusted such that it can be effective for individuals with varying degrees of cognitive ability.
    2) I believe that these myths exist because the more traditional modalities of therapy entailed therapists essentially “talking at” a client and giving a client instruction for how to decrease cognitive distress rather than having the client participate in his or her own treatment actively. I also think that professionals who are not well versed in CBT may not fully understand how malleable the therapy is and therefore believe that it cannot be adjusted to meet the needs of lower functioning clients or clients with various disabilities that put them outside the realm of the “average” CBT client.
    3) I believe that I can help dispel these myths about CBT by providing psychoeducation to peers and colleagues, continuing to utilize CBT with clients who may be otherwise considered “not appropriate” for CBT, and by collecting data and providing evidence for the malleability and applicable nature of the treatment model.

    Part 2:
    1) If a CBT therapist has a strong aversion to practicing CBT techniques on themselves, this may be very apparent to a client during sessions. As a result, the therapist may come off as disingenuous and unempathetic. Further, practicing these techniques on oneself can provide a level of insight that allows the therapist to better understand the experience of the client and inevitably provide more effective treatment. If the therapist does not engage in these activities on themselves, he or she is not providing the most well-informed and effective treatment possible. Finally, if a client is able to see that a therapist has a strong knowledge and understanding of the techniques that he or she is presenting, it may increase the client’s motivation and desire to engage in the activities.
    2) One indicator of quality CBT supervision is the support of the supervisor. Quality CBT supervision involves the supervisor observing a session or reviewing recorded sessions and providing feedback, a supervisor who is extremely experienced with CBT, and a supervisor who recommends or encourages a therapist to observe the sessions of peers and colleagues. A supervisor who states that they are simply “familiar” with CBT or argues that their theoretical approach is not important is an indicator of poor-quality CBT supervision. I believe that constructive feedback regarding case formulation, mastery of CBT techniques, and counseling practices would be most beneficial in the professional development of a CBT therapist.
    3) As a CBT therapist, if one does not stay up to date with CBT knowledge and skills, he or she may not be providing the most effective and evidence-based treatment to a client. As a result, the client may not be receiving the most effective treatment and therefore his or her quality of life may not be improved to the extent that it could be. Given that new research is being published frequently, technology is advancing, and evidence-based practices are evolving regularly, it is extremely important to stay up to date on CBT practices in order to provide the best quality of care possible to the client.

    Reply

    • Francesca DePergola
      Nov 17, 2020 @ 20:27:25

      Hi Alison,
      I really liked how you brought in your own experiences for part one as those are really good examples to use to dispel these common myths. I think that a lot of people think that way as well, but I feel like Dr. V’s point about how that’s not just specific to CBT, but almost every therapy. In the second part, I totally agreed with your points about why it is important to stay up to date on CBT practices. I think with the advances it could be applied to particular clients that might benefit from that new-found research or information and if one skips out on those types of opportunities, they are not being the best professionals in the field.

      Reply

    • Allie Supernor
      Nov 19, 2020 @ 11:41:54

      Alison, I really enjoyed your discussion about the myth that you must be intelligent to benefit from CBT. I have also heard similar thinking. I work with individuals who have experience TBIs (traumatic brain injuries) and have previously worked with intellectually disabled individuals. Although at that time I didn’t have much CBT knowledge, in hindsight I can very easily say that isn’t true! I appreciate your argument that CBT can be worked with a variety of clients with range of diagnoses. CBT is so malleable that you can adjust your approach so much. You can be doing CBT ‘one way’ with one person, and CBT ‘another way’ with someone else. They are both CBT.

      Reply

  4. Francesca DePergola
    Nov 17, 2020 @ 20:04:18

    CBT Myths
    (1) Identify at least one common CBT myth you have heard from other people/professionals. What are your thoughts when you hear such comments?
    I think I have heard the myth that CBT puts too much emphasis on thoughts, but not on emotions. I was not that educated about CBT before, so I do not remember having a strong thought about it, but now that I am educated about what CBT is and how it is effective it kind of makes me laugh a little. Understanding what CBT is, there is no way to avoid emotions when trying to be an effective counselor, so that statement does not make much sense.
    (2) Why do you think some of these myths continue to exist?
    I think some of these myths continue to exist because of a mix between lack of knowledge and past and old school thoughts on CBT. I think if there was more information given about the background and goals of CBT a lot of the common myths could be cleared up. I think the explanation of why these myths came to be, would be important to address too since they might have been somewhat valid in the beginning but have changed immensely since then.
    (3) What can you do to help dispel some of these myths?
    I can be aware of these myths and when they come up I can address them and make sure that it is understood that what is thought is not accurate in a polite manner. I think another way that I could dispel these myths was if I acted professionally and effectively as I was doing CBT to show others its value and to clarify that the common myths are false.

    CBT Competence
    (1) How can it be a problem if CBT therapists have a strong aversion to practicing CBT techniques on themselves?
    It can be a problem because if CBT therapists do not see the value in using CBT techniques when it could be useful for them, it can be harmful in turn for the client. The therapist will be less likely to show empathy and understanding to their clients and will struggle when trying to help the clients. Clients may also pick up on those cues and feel less hopeful and motivated to do the techniques as well.
    (2) What are some possible indicators to determine if you are receiving quality CBT supervision? What type of feedback from your supervisor do you think would be most beneficial to your professional development as a CBT therapist?
    Some possible indicators to determine if I am receiving quality CBT supervision is the quality of their feedback and interest in my skills when in therapy with a client. The way that this could be helped is if there are recordings of the sessions or the supervision observes live. With proper guidance, the ability to master CBT skills will come faster and easier with proper support. I think the type of feedback that would be most beneficial for me as a CBT therapist is constructive criticism. I really learn faster when I am called out on my mistakes, so if someone were watching me in a session and I make a few mistakes here or there and say I do not explain something in the best of terms, I would learn better if my supervisor called me out on it.
    (3) What are some possible negative outcomes if you do not stay up to date with CBT knowledge and skills?
    One possible negative outcome, if I do not stay up to date with CBT knowledge and skills, is knowing that I am not giving my client the best treatment. If a person is up to date with knowledge and skills they will be educated enough to know where those new skills and knowledge could be applied. Knowing that if I do not stay up to date, I may be hindering my client’s ability for better treatment outcomes and that is not okay.

    Reply

    • Madi
      Nov 18, 2020 @ 15:17:19

      Hi Francesca,
      I think your response to the first questions shows how important education about CBT is. I believe that educating others about CBT will help to begin to dispel these myths. It is our job as therapists in training and eventually as therapists to educate those around us. Especially when they make untrue statements about therapy. I agree with you about competence and that it would be a huge red flag if a CBT therapist were to refuse to do CBT themselves.

      Reply

    • Christopher LePage
      Nov 19, 2020 @ 15:45:07

      Hi Francesca,
      I really liked your point of how these myths might be propelled by old-school thoughts. I completely agree, and I think specifically in our field since things are revised and changed so often, people outside of the field are often not up to date on CBT and what it is like today. This also connects to our last question regarding the complications about not keeping up with new CBT styles. While it is understandable for people outside our field to lag behind on the information, it is important for counselors to stay on top of new changes that are made in our field, especially when it comes to something like CBT, since we use it so often.

      Reply

  5. Trey Powers
    Nov 18, 2020 @ 15:40:25

    CBT Myths
    1.
    One myth about CBT that I have heard in the past is that it is too rigid and technique focused. When I consider this myth, I can definitely see where it originated. There are certainly a number of manualized approaches that include standardized ways of approaching issues, as well as a number of static worksheets that are distributed to many clients. At first glance, this may give the impression of being a very cut-and-dried method of responding to clients’ unique presentations and issues. Upon further examination, however, it can be seen that there are many subtle nuances in relation to how the materials and techniques are applied, and the therapist still plays a central role in influencing the session outside of the prescribed methodology.
    2.
    I believe that myths such as this still exist largely because the field of psychology is still in the beginning phases of being accepted and acknowledged in the community at large. While the medical field has enjoyed legitimacy for many years, and therefore the average person is acquainted with its nature and somewhat familiar with its operation, the same is not true for psychology. A lack of awareness coupled with somewhat of a lack of transparency leads to misconceptions, speculation, and finally, myths.
    3.
    In order to dispel such myths, it is important for practitioners within the field to be open, honest, and transparent about the true nature of the practice of psychology. When encountering individuals who espouse such beliefs about the workings of the therapy process and the nature of therapy itself, those within the field can engage in a dialogue regarding the true nature of our practice, indicating how such myths have come to be, why they remain believable, but also why they are incorrect. By educating others and projecting the truth about what therapy is and how it is practiced, more and more people will eventually understand, and the various myths will hopefully decrease in popularity.

    CBT Competence
    1.
    If a therapist is unwilling to engage in CBT techniques themselves, it calls into question their belief in the overall efficacy of CBT itself. There really is no good reason why a practitioner would be unwilling to employ the skills and techniques that they use on clients on themselves. Indeed, doing so is likely to make one into an even better therapist because of the more nuanced and personal understanding that is gained by engaging in the process oneself. A client may also be able to sense the inauthenticity of a therapist unwilling to engage in CBT themselves, which could possible hinder the client’s belief in the therapist’s competency or investment, ultimately damaging the therapeutic alliance.
    2.
    Supervision is an essential element of the training process, and as such it is important to have an effective supervisor in order to receive the best possible guidance for practicing on your own in the future. One way of being able to tell if you are receiving good quality supervision is having a supervisor who is actively invested in your learning. One of the best ways for a supervisor to assist new therapists is by observing sessions live, or watching a recorded session in order to provide feedback. Being present, one way or another, as a session is being conducted allows a supervisor to take in the full picture of what is happening during the session, which therefore allows for more detailed commentary and critique to be provided.
    3.
    As with any skill, it is important to ensure that you not only maintain the knowledge that you already have, but also integrate any new information that has emerged. Such is especially the case in the sciences. With new studies being conducted daily, and an immense amount of information being generated as a result, the field of psychology is continuously evolving over time. While major changes to various approaches may not come with great frequency, there are still many opportunities to hone your skills, learn new skills, and increase your awareness of the myriad of issues within the psychological community. To abstain from continuing education and professional development is to forsake these many benefits that are derived from it. The result of such refusal to remain up to date with the latest developments within the community may be utilization of outdated techniques or providing less than optimal support for your clients. Given the commitment to beneficence and non-maleficence that is undertaken as a therapist, it is therefore essential to invest in maintaining a current understanding of the present state of the psychological community for the benefit of clients.

    Reply

  6. Haley Scola
    Nov 18, 2020 @ 15:46:46

    CBT Myths:

    1. One common CBT myth I’ve heard from someone not in the field was “so the client just vents to you and you ask questions, right?” When I hear these comment, I immediately go into defense mode going on a rant and start with “Actually it is evidence based and has the most empirical data supporting its effectiveness compared to other forms of therapy”. I’ve spent hours explaining to people in depth the process of CBT such as treatment analysis, plans, going into automatic thoughts and core beliefs. Usually this topic come up because for some reason in undergrad I was always that person in the corner with the crying person who is venting to me saying I’m their therapist. I then have to go on and explain someone venting to me and me giving you my PERSONAL ADVICE is not even close to if this person went to therapy.
    2. I think these myths continue to exist because of a lack of knowledge of the subject. Additionally, the people in my lives who have been the therapy had a bad experience (myself included) where the client is just talking and there is no clear treatment plan as well as a lack of collaboration.
    3. I can help dispel some of these myths by politely explaining to people how CBT is structured and collaborative. Studies have also shown throughout the year the clear effectiveness of CBT, so referring friends to such literature can be helpful.

    CBT Competence:

    1. It can be a problem if CBT therapists have a strong aversion to practicing CBT techniques on themselves because the therapist loses a significant gateway to empathy and understanding of what the client is going through when, for example, filling out an automatic thoughts worksheet. If the therapist is not practicing what they preach because it also enhances the therapist’s self-awareness and insight such translates into their therapeutic skills. Additionally, if the therapist does not see the empirically supported techniques as helpful on themselves, the clients may notice this which is detrimental to not only the therapeutic relationship but also the way the therapist presents themselves to the client (expertness, genuine, attractiveness).
    2. Some possible indicators to determine if you are receiving quality CBT supervision is if your supervisor is using any sort of live session to provide feedback such as video feed, ear bud, etc., group supervision, and watching others do therapy.
    3. Some possible outcomes if one does not stay up-to-date with CBT knowledge and skills are not enhancing skills and continually improving. Without staying up to date you may lose important updates you as a therapist and your clients can significantly benefit from. As a therapist you want to continue to be the most competent CBT therapist you can be, which is why you should stay up to date with the knowledge and skills.

    Reply

    • Eileen Kinnane
      Nov 18, 2020 @ 19:47:00

      Hi Haley,

      I totally agree on your thoughts that myths exist due to a lack of knowledge and even negative experiences in therapy. I have had therapists myself who claim to practice CBT with their clients. However, when I have been in session, there has been no treatment plan, no psychoeducation, and no homework. Luckily for myself, I was able to understand that my therapist simply wasn’t practicing CBT effectively. I can only imagine what clients who are not studying CBT think when they have these experiences.

      Reply

    • Selene Anaya
      Nov 20, 2020 @ 15:00:57

      Hey Haley! I totally agree with your response to the first question. I also get very defensive when people assume therapy only consists of someone venting to you. I also phrase my response along the lines of CBT being evidence-based and that a wide range of research exists that supports its effectiveness. I also get a little bothered when people tell me “you’re going to be such a great therapist you give me so much advice” when really there is a lot more to therapy and it looks completely different than just offering personal advice.

      Reply

  7. Eileen Kinnane
    Nov 18, 2020 @ 19:42:38

    [CBT Myths] –

    (1)Something about CBT that I have heard from others is that it’s too simple to be effective. This was in response to listing off potential links to an individual experiencing sleep disturbances. My thoughts regarding statements like that are something like, “well it can appear simple to list off potential links to certain presenting issues if you are not currently in distress or experiencing certain issues.” Along with this, it can appear to be simple when a response is simplified due to the fact that the conversation is not amongst CBT professionals. Yet, to a person who is struggling, it can be buried under so many different things that the client has to work to dig up. Along with this, the fact that sleep disturbances can have so many potential links makes it quite complicated, since there is no one simple “fix.” It is frustrating to hear these comments that aim to mock CBT when I know that I will practically be spending the rest of my career educating myself in order to continuously be an effective therapist.

    (2) I think some of these myths continue to exist due to a lack of education, and a lack of motivation to educate. Along with this, I think that when clients are eager to practice CBT, and then have a CBT therapist who does not implement CBT theory and practices, the client may think that CBT is not as effective as the evidence proved it to be, which reinforces the myths.

    (3) One thing I can do to dispel some of these myths is to be an effective therapist. I can continue to work to provide effective CBT to my clients and let my outcomes speak for themselves. While I know I won’t do this perfectly, I know it’s something I can work to do to dispel some of the CBT myths.

    [CBT Competence] –

    (1) One problem that can arise from not practicing CBT techniques on yourself as a therapist is a loss in ability to empathize with a client. For me, I found some of the techniques and worksheets to be quite difficult, and I am not someone who currently significantly struggles with my mental health. For me to struggle with the worksheets allowed me the opportunity to realized how complicated and difficult the techniques can be for a client.

    (2) Quality supervision can start with knowing if the supervisor is trained in CBT. It’s not enough just to be “familiar” with CBT techniques. Having someone who is trained and experienced in CBT can be an excellent indicator of productive supervision. Another indicator could include being offered group and individual supervision, along with using supervision to review video and audio recordings of sessions. I know that as a therapist, I will not always remember every detail from every session. Having recordings will help me in supervision by understanding every part of the session. For me, I am not someone who works well without something to work on. I don’t believe that someone can do something perfectly. There is always room for improvement. Something that I will look for from my supervision will always be an area to improve on. I will always have room to grow and I know that I need a supervisor who knows that.

    (3) Because sciences, including psychology, are constantly evolving, it’s especially important to stay up to date on any knowledge and skills that are discovered. Knowledge and skills are things that consistently adapt and change, and it’s important to do this so you are not stuck in the same process of providing therapy for years as it will only hurt yourself as a therapist and your clients.

    Reply

  8. Selene Anaya
    Nov 19, 2020 @ 15:08:42

    [CBT Myths] –

    (1) One common myth that I have heard from other people/professionals is that CBT does not value therapist-client relationships. Before the program, I knew, however, how effective CBT is especially for individuals with depression and anxiety which is why I was so inclined to study it. Now, we know that the therapist-client relationship is probably the most important part of CBT. I was very happy when I found this out because I felt conflicted about if I wanted to study it when I first heard someone say the myth.

    (2&3) When someone says a comment that relates to one of the myths that were presented, I feel as though I need to defend it, but also realize that these people probably don’t even know what CBT is so they just lack the information. I know a lot of people who think that therapy is just where someone goes to talk about their problems and nothing more. CBT actually works towards goals with certain techniques and it is a process that leads individuals towards more realistic ways of thinking. I can simply tell them the previous statement and I think they would better understand CBT and stop spreading the common myths. I can offer the same kind of psychoeducation that also might be given in therapy with a client. Now that would be good practice!

    [CBT Competence] –

    (1) If a CBT therapist has a strong aversion to practicing CBT on themselves, it is very likely they don’t believe in the process which could rub off on the client. It is kind of hard to believe that this would happen, but it places emphasis on the importance of putting yourself in the client’s shoes so you can be more empathetic and understanding of the process. You will also be less motivated to really work with the client if you don’t believe in the process.

    2) Supervision is an extremely important part of training and I think it has the ability to improve and offer even more usable skills. It is also comforting to know that someone will be observing and making sure you aren’t harming the client as I know that a lot of anxieties about being a beginning therapist is the fear of making the client’s situation worse. Some possible indicators to determine if you are receiving quality CBT supervision (aside from the individual being experienced and qualified) would be good support and quality feedback. Feedback that acknowledges certain skills and techniques that can be used to enhance the sessions would be very helpful. Having a supervisor who genuinely takes the time to observe you and offer feedback is a good sign of a positive supervisor. If there is a supervisor who just lets you run sessions with little to no feedback, it is likely the quality of supervision is low and they aren’t taking the necessary time to guide you and help you improve.

    3) Some possible negative outcomes, if you do not stay up to date with CBT knowledge and skills, could be that a client could notice that you aren’t. If a client does not match well with a CBT therapist, they could come to you and realize that you are not as advanced and they could be discouraged. The field is rapidly growing and making changes, so ensuring that you are up to date with CBT knowledge and skills is the therapist’s responsibility to stay qualified. It can also be viewed as unethical. Providing the most optimal therapy to your clients should be one of your highest priorities.

    Reply

  9. Christopher LePage
    Nov 19, 2020 @ 15:38:23

    Part 1
    1) One myth about cognitive behavioral therapy that I have learned through my family, is that they assumed CBT was only used for anxiety and depression disorders. When I hear something like this from my family, in a way I understand where they are coming from. From their experience, they have only known people in my family who have sought therapy for their anxiety or depression, so they just do not have the background to understand the specifics of it. For me, this is understandable as I do not know the specific details about what their jobs/careers are, so I do not expect them to know mine.
    2) I think the reason that this myth is still prevalent today, is because anxiety and depression are the most common disorders we have. Because of this commonality, I believe that people simply just group CBT with anxiety and depression. People think in a very categorical way, meaning we like to group things together to understand them easier. However, this style of thinking clearly has some ramifications as all aspects of life cannot fit into simple categories
    3) The best way for me to best dispel this rumor is simply educating people on it. Again, I really do not expect people to understand all the specifics when it comes to therapy, so I feel the best way to dispel this myth is to just be patient with people, and understand how they had this misconception.

    Part 2
    1) One problem with CBT therapists not wanting to practice CBT on themselves, shows a slight suspicion on whether CBT works. If I was a client, and I was curious if my therapist ever sought out CBT therapy, or practiced the techniques themselves, and I found out they had such a strong aversion, I would in turn doubt if the therapy style would work. If the therapist themselves does not practice CBT on themselves, it could also impact how they view the client’s experiences. By this, I mean to say without experiencing it yourself, you really can not fully understand the process in of its itself.
    2) One way you can determine the quality of CBT supervision you are receiving, is determining how engaged your supervisor is in your sessions. If your supervisor can not carry out an in-depth conversation on the session, they may have simply not been paying attention. You can also determine the quality of their supervision from their feedback. For me, when I am getting feedback I want to know the things that I should work on first, and if the supervisor is essentially being a yes-man, odds are they are just going through the motions, and not paying attention. This method is most beneficial to me, because I know that I have “be on my game” with the supervisor, and I feel more comfortable with the overall process knowing that my supervisor was actually paying attention, and wants me to improve.
    3) In this field, it is extremely important to stay up to date, especially with CBT. Every few years the DSM gets revised, and there are new techniques and styles used to combat different disorders. This is extremely important to be aware of, because as our knowledge of mental health changes, so must our therapeutic styles. By not staying up to date on CBT, we are not best-suiting our client to have the most effective treatment styles.

    Reply

    • Selene Anaya
      Nov 20, 2020 @ 15:16:04

      Hi Chris! I actually also assumed that CBT was mostly only used for those with anxiety and depression. I thought it was awesome that you phrased your reflection in a way that makes sense why some people might not know what CBT entails. I agree that the best way we could dispel this myth is just by gently educating them when it comes up. Just like any other profession, people have their assumptions and reasons for thinking what they think. I don’t think that people who believe these myths even know that they might be wrong nor that it can potentially give CBT a bad rep. I also like how you phrased the very last question about how our knowledge of mental health and what works best is rapidly changing, therefore we must adjust our techniques and what we know to that.

      Reply

    • Eileen Kinnane
      Nov 22, 2020 @ 12:50:40

      Hi Chris,

      I found it really interesting when you said that if you found your therapist had an aversion to a certain aversion techniques, you would begin to doubt if the style of therapy actually worked. I think this is a great point. If therapist is not able to support and validate the techniques of the therapy they are practicing, it is very reasonable for the client to begin to have doubts in the style of therapy as well. It makes it seem as if the therapist doesn’t even really believe in the therapy they are practicing.

      Reply

  10. Brigitte Manseau
    Nov 19, 2020 @ 15:52:01

    1a. The myth I’ve heard most is that CBT seems cold and rigid. I feel like many people still do not understand that there are many approaches to therapy. When I explain what CBT is I have had most people tell me that it seems impersonal and cold. I can understand how others fall into this myth because CBT is quite different from the typical psychodynamic approach people are used to. When I hear people talk about this myth I know they have not experienced CBT and likely do not know someone who has experienced CBT. I try to remind myself that people are more skeptical with concepts that are “new” to them. It makes me more aware of the need to talk about CBT with others and to educate them about the approach.
    b. I believe these myths still exist due to a lack of education. Usually when someone thinks of therapy they are thinking about the psychodynamic and/or humanistic approach. Others (friends, family members, coworkers, etc.) who I have talked to about therapy express a great emphasis on the client using therapy as venting sessions and not actually acknowledging ways to fix the problem. I think CBT may come off as “cold” and “rigid” because we have specific techniques to take action which may seem intimidating at first. As I previously stated, people tend to be skeptical of things that go against their belief/opinion/knowledge whether they are right or wrong. Therefore, it can take a while for someone to come around and acknowledge that the previous things they believed were actually myths.
    c. I can help dispel some of these myths by educating others when they bring up topics related to CBT myths. Through education and gentle challenges, I believe other individuals will question their incorrect assumptions about CBT and potentially understand how effective CBT can be.

    Reply

    • Haley Scola
      Nov 21, 2020 @ 17:36:23

      Hi Brigitte,
      I’m surprised that you’ve heard CBT is cold and rigid because I’ve only heard the opposite. I think you made a really great point when you say many people don’t understand there are several forms to therapy. I also agree that these myths come from a lack of knowledge and understanding because otherwise they would know the empirical data that supports CBT.

      Reply

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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