What is the Cognitive Behavioral Model?

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Image credit: cogbtherapy.com

The  cognitive behavioral model is meant to help you learn to change your thoughts, feelings and behaviors so you experience an overall better life. By targeting your reactions to situations, the cognitive behavioral model can help you react more effectively in challenging situations, and even learn to maintain a more positive outlook when you are unable to change situations happening around you.


Unlike a many other coaching approaches, coaching from the cognitive behavioral model brings a problem-solving aim towards helping you achieve your goals. The goals can be anything from getting a job to finding a romantic partner to reducing feelings of anxiety or depression. Once you meet your goal, you and your coach collaboratively decide whether there is anything remaining to work on, or to end sessions and move on to next level coaching.

The cognitive behavioral model typically focuses on present difficulties and current situations that are distressing. This here-and-now focus allows you to solve current problems more quickly and effectively. Identifying specific challenges and focusing on them in a consistent and structured manner results in achieving greater gains, and achieving them in a shorter period of time than in traditional methods of coaching.

The cognitive behavioral model requires you and your coach to work as a team, collaborating to solve problems. Rather than waiting for problems to get better after talking about them repeatedly from week to week, you are able to take an active role in your own treatment, using self-help assignments and cognitive behavioral tools between sessions to speed up the process of change. Each session is focused on identifying ways of thinking differently, and unlearning unwanted reactions.

The cognitive behavioral model uses a time-limited approach, meaning once you feel significant symptom relief and have the skills you need for success, coaching can end. This makes the cognitive behavioral approach significantly shorter in duration than traditional coaching methods, which can last years. Many people finish cognitive behavioral coaching after just a few months of sessions. However, not everyone makes significant progress in a short time; some people may need additional sessions to reduce symptoms and create lasting change. Those with serious, chronic psychological problems may need anywhere from six months to several years of sessions. However, even in these cases cognitive behavioral coaching is generally more effective and of shorter duration than traditional coaching.

Cognitive behavioral coaching come directly from the practice of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and is the most widely researched approach that exists, over 500 studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of CBT for numerous psychological and even medical problems. It is one of the few approaches that is scientifically proven to be effective. Follow this link to a chart comparing the effectiveness of CBT to other approaches.

Making big changes can be difficult. Cognitive behavioral coaches take this very seriously, and are dedicated to helping the client along this process at the client’s own pace, offering cognitive behavioral tools in an environment of warmth and caring. Relying on the foundation of a supportive relationship, clients feel more comfortable stepping outside of their comfort zone to achieve their goals.

Content inspired by: cogbtherapy.com


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