Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that teaches people how to recognize and change harmful or troubling thought patterns that affect their behavior and emotions. CBT focuses on modifying ingrained negative thinking patterns that can exacerbate emotional problems, sadness, and anxiety. As these irrational negative patterns often have an unhelpful impact on one’s mood, CBT works to identify and challenge them, replacing them with more objective, realistic ones.
How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?
Cognitive behavioral therapy works by challenging and transforming the negative and distorted thoughts and beliefs that are deeply instilled in us. Clients are encouraged to address these beliefs in therapy as part of a comprehensive effort to change their destructive patterns of behavior and achieve healing and joy.
To change the thinking patterns that are causing you harm, our therapists might ask you to:
- Examine how your distortions in thinking are creating problems in your life
- Reevaluate if these long-held beliefs are serving you
- Develop problem-solving skills to cope with challenges
- Participate in role-play exercises to prepare for potentially problematic situations
- Develop more confidence in your abilities
- Learn strategies that will help you relax your body and quiet your mind
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Techniques
CBT is a solutions-oriented mode of treatment. Our counselors work with you to understand your challenges and develop a treatment strategy. The primary focus is on moving forward and developing healthy ways to cope with life. To do so, our therapists will help you set and reach short-term goals. Then, they will use several CBT techniques that gradually adjust how you think, feel and react to life’s situations.
These CBT techniques include:
- Talking with your therapist and peers
- Brainstorming solutions to problems
- Challenging beliefs that don’t serve you
- Mindfulness, relaxation, deep breathing
- Reading and/or writing assignments
- Saying affirmations
- Reframing negative thoughts
Cognitive Behavioral therapy comes in a variety of forms. CBT is a term that refers to a variety of strategies and approaches for dealing with ideas, emotions, and behaviors.
While each style of cognitive behavioral therapy has its own technique, they all aim to change the underlying thought patterns that cause psychological suffering.
What Can CBT Treat?
CBT is used to address a variety of disorders, including:
- Anger Management
- Bipolar disorder
- Eating disorders
- Panic attacks
- Personality disorders
CBT has been shown to assist patients manage with the following issues in addition to mental health issues:
- Severe illnesses or chronic pain
- Divorce or break-ups
- Loss or grief
- Sleep problems
- Low self-esteem
- Relationship issues
- Stress management
The Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
There are advantages to participating in any sort of treatment, not just for yourself, but also for your family, partner, or other loved ones. CBT’s distinct advantages and disadvantages include:
- The therapy is completed in a short period of time. The duration of therapy is usually shorter than in other varieties, ranging from five to twenty sessions.
- As a result, CBT may be less expensive than other choices that need a lengthier time commitment.
- CBT produces long-term results. It may also be more affordable if you receive it in a group setting. People who have had
- CBT are less likely to relapse than those who have taken antidepressant medicines without therapy, according to research.
- Sessions are adaptable and available in a variety of formats. You can, for example, attend in-person sessions that are either individual or group in nature. CBT is also available online or over the phone for some folks.
- Therapy skills can be immediately implemented in everyday life. The purpose of CBT is to provide the person receiving therapy with tools. These strategies assist patients in gaining control of their concerns both during and after therapy.
- People who receive CBT may find that taking an active role in their healing is empowering. People in therapy hope to address challenges on their own over time by applying the tools they learned in sessions
- CBT can be used in conjunction with or without medication. Some people may just require CBT, while others may find therapy to be a good supplement to their current drugs.
Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Effective?
CBT is one of the most researched types of therapy. In fact, many specialists believe it is the most effective treatment for a variety of mental health issues. Here’s some evidence to back that up:
- A review of 41 studies that looked at CBT in the treatment of anxiety disorders, PTSD, and OCD showed evidence that therapy could help improve symptoms in all of these scenarios. The method worked best for OCD, anxiety, and tension.
- A 2018 study of CBT for anxiety in young people indicated that the treatment had positive long-term outcomes. At the study’s follow-up, which took place two or more years after they finished therapy, more than half of the patients no longer fit the criteria for anxiety.
- According to research released in 2011, CBT can help not only treat depression but also lower the likelihood of relapse after therapy. Additionally, when combined with medicine, it may help relieve symptoms of bipolar disorder, but additional research is needed to back up this claim.
- A 2017 study looked at 43 persons with OCD and found evidence that CBT improved brain function, notably in terms of fighting compulsions.
- Evidence suggests that CBT can help people with significant depression and PTSD improve cognitive function, according to a 2018 study.
- According to a 2010 study, CBT can be a helpful tool for coping with substance abuse. CBT can also be used to help patients manage with addiction and avoid relapse after treatment, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
- Up-to-date studies for 2020 and 2021 indicate that even virtual and internet-based CBT have potential for effective treatment.
Want to learn more about how CBT can form an effective part of your treatment plan? Get in touch!