On our web pages for adult anxiety and depression, we discuss specific applications of CBT. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) proposes that people make evaluations about different areas of their lives, and based on how they are seeing what’s happening, conclude that they should feel depressed or anxious. When participating in CBT, your therapist will help you to consider the ways that you are evaluating different parts of their lives, and help you to look at things differently. If you are coming to therapy to deal with anxiety, your therapist will also teach you coping skills for anxiety, including different forms of relaxation training.
CBT is very compatible with Christianity, particularly with a a Scriptural emphasis on the importance of our thoughts in changing our behaviors. For example, Romans 12:2 encourages “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. Scripture also highlights the importance of a person’s thought life. In Philippians 4:8, the apostle Paul writes “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things” (NIV).
If you participate in an explicitly spiritual version of CBT, your therapist can help you make evaluations about different parts of your life in light of your faith. This can be done by making general references to teachings from your faith, or more specifically, from specific passages from Scripture. When helping individuals to cope with anxiety, prayer can be particularly helpful incorporated into various parts of relaxation training.