The principle of behavioral and cognitive therapy (CBT) is totally different from the principle of psychoanalysis. These are short and active therapies. It is not meant to transform a personality, and is only interested in the disabling symptom. The patient suffers from a symptom, expresses suffering, and it is this suffering that will be treated.
The principle: Behavioral therapists believe that a symptom (a phobia, anguish, etc.) is behavior that has been learned at a certain time in life, but is no longer appropriate.
These therapists assume that what has been learned can be unlearned and new learning can be done.
Take the example of a phobia: you suffer from a panic fear of mice. The therapist will not necessarily try to understand what in your unconscious can be symbolized by the mouse. He will teach you not to be afraid anymore. For that, he will give you practical exercises. He will gradually put you in a position to talk, imagine, then approach and touch a mouse.
These practical exercises will be like a kind of desensitization. Exercises are associated with work on thought (cognition). A behavior is always determined by a thought pattern.
If, for example, you suffer from social phobia, that you are afraid to speak, your thought will be close to "if I speak, I will be judged badly". The therapist will seek to make you understand and correct the inner dialogues that block you.
A session of behavioral pyschotherapy
Behavioral and cognitive therapies are short and highly codified techniques. A few sessions (ten or fifteen) can help overcome old phobias.
During sessions of about 45 minutes, the therapist offers practical exercises of deconditioning. He accompanies you, serves as a behavioral model. Role play can be used, as well as relaxation.
Some therapists give small personal exercises to do at home.
Behavioral therapy for whom?
Behavioral and cognitive therapies are particularly indicated in cases of phobias, anxiety disorders, addictive behavior, behavioral disorders (sexual, schizophrenia ...).
In all cases, the patient must be motivated and active. He must accept to take his symptom to the body to overcome it. This requires effort, but they are usually paid for success.