Cognitive behavioral therapy (or CBT) is a short-term therapy that helps people change their thinking patterns and find new ways to behave. CBT can be used to help people deal with stress, manage complicated relationships, grieve, and other common life challenges.
CBT is based on the idea that how we think about and interpret life’s events has an impact on how we behave and, ultimately, how we feel.
It is a goal-oriented, problem-specific approach that requires the individual to actively participate in its success. It focuses on the individual’s current challenges, thoughts, and behaviors.
Continue reading to learn more about CBT and how it can benefit you.
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a psychotherapeutic treatment, is a form of psychotherapeutic treatment that teaches people how to recognize and change negative thought patterns and their impact on their behavior.
It is a collaborative therapy, requiring the individual and therapist to work together. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), CBT helps an individual learn to become their own therapist.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a treatment that focuses on changing negative thoughts and behaviors that contribute to or worsen emotional problems, such as depression and anxiety. These negative thoughts can have a negative impact on mood.
These thoughts can be challenged and replaced by more objective, realistic thoughts through CBT.
Cognitive Therapy and Behavior Therapy are Combined in CBT
CBT is a combination therapy of ‘cognitive therapy’ and ‘behaviour therapy’. Both these therapies are based on the idea that healthy thoughts can lead to healthy behaviors and feelings.
Cognitive therapy aims to change how a person views a problem that is causing them concern. Negative thoughts can lead to self-destructive behaviours and feelings. Someone who believes they are not worthy of love and respect might withdraw from social situations and act shyly. Cognitive therapy helps to challenge these thoughts and gives the individual healthier strategies.
There are many options. One method is to ask the person to provide evidence that they are not loved. You might ask them to recognize their loved ones and show appreciation. This helps the person realize that their beliefs are false. This is known as “cognitive restructuring”. This is when the person can identify and challenge negative thoughts and then replace them with more realistic, positive thoughts.
Behaviour therapy teaches people techniques and skills to change their behavior. A person may be shy at parties and have negative thoughts or feelings about themselves. They might also lack social skills.
Behaviour therapy helps people develop more positive behaviours. They may learn conversational skills, which they can use in therapy or in social situations. Positive thoughts and feelings decrease when the person realizes that they can enjoy social situations.
What Can CBT Help With?
Cognitive behavior therapy is a short-term treatment that helps individuals to focus on their present thoughts and beliefs.
The treatment of a variety of conditions can be done with CBT, including:
- Anger issues
- Bipolar disorder
- Eating disorders
- Panic Attacks
- Personality disorders
CBT can be used to treat mental health issues as well as the following:
- Chronic pain and serious illness
- Divorce and break-ups
- Grief and loss
- Low self-esteem
- Problems in relationships
- Stress management
4 Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT has many benefits over other forms of therapy when it comes to treating mental health conditions. Here are some of the benefits:
1. It gives people hope about their condition
Mental health conditions can make sufferers feel pessimistic about the future. It can be difficult to imagine a future where your illness will not affect you. CBT can change this – it gives people hope.
This is done by helping people to see that their thoughts may not always be accurate. They don’t always reflect what is likely to happen in real life.
We can open our minds and see new possibilities when we challenge our thinking. There is a chance that your life could be completely different.
2. It helps people to develop self-esteem
Low self-esteem is a common symptom of many mental illnesses. This perpetuates the cycle of negativity and influencing behavior. CBT can help you to break this pattern and gain more confidence in yourself.
Your entire belief system will change when you understand the workings of your thoughts and what you can do to control them. This applies to your perception of yourself.
3. It can help people relax
The behavioral aspect of CBT helps people learn to control how they respond to their mental health symptoms. This involves calming down and using various relaxation techniques. This allows us to manage our reactions to triggers and reduce symptoms.
4. It develops more rational thought processes
CBT helps us to take control of our thoughts. This is the main benefit.
Cognitive distortions are quite common. They often occur automatically and without any question. The process of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones can change our thinking over time.
Negative thoughts are no longer allowed to control you. Instead, you can think rationally to determine the best way to respond to difficult situations.
CBT goes beyond identifying thoughts patterns. It also focuses on using a variety of strategies to help people overcome them.
Identify Negative Thoughts
It is essential to understand how thoughts, emotions, and circumstances can lead to maladaptive behavior.
Practicing New Skills
It is crucial to learn new skills that you can use in real-world situations. A person suffering from a substance abuse disorder might begin to practice new coping skills and learn how to deal with situations that can lead to a relapse.
Setting goals can be a key step in your recovery from mental illness. It will help you to make positive changes in your life and health. A therapist can assist you with goal-setting skills during CBT. They will teach you how to identify your goal and distinguish between short and long-term goals.
Problem-solving skills are useful in identifying and solving problems caused by life stressors. They can also help reduce the impact of mental and physical illnesses.
Problem-solving in CBT often involves five steps:
- Identifying the problem
- A list of possible solutions can be created
- Analyzing the strengths and limitations of each solution
- Selecting a solution to implement
- Implementing solution
Self-monitoring, also known as diary work, is an important part of CBT treatment. It involves keeping track of your behaviors, symptoms, and experiences over time and sharing these with your therapist. Self-monitoring is a great way to give your therapist the information they need to deliver the best possible treatment.
To conclude, CBT is a very effective form of talk therapy with a wide range of applications as well as benefits. It might not be suitable for every patient — or may need to be used alongside other therapy treatments for the best results. Reach out to us for more information.