Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders and other mental health conditions. In this type of therapy, the patient and therapist work together to identify unhealthy thoughts and beliefs causing problems and teach the patient how to reframe negative thinking with more optimistic, realistic and productive ideas.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most widely researched forms of treatment, with evidence to support its efficacy in alleviating various psychiatric disorders. Studies have demonstrated its success treating depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and many more mental health conditions.
In cognitive therapy, a psychologist collaborates with the patient to analyze their thought patterns and behaviors. They may be asked to write down their feelings and responses in response to certain scenarios; then the therapist can objectively assess these impressions to determine whether they are true or inaccurate.
Functional analysis, also known as cognitive restructuring, is an integral component of therapy. While it may be challenging to alter your thinking patterns, with practice you will begin to automatically generate helpful thoughts that become habits.
Finding a therapist that is suitable for you and has the necessary experience and expertise for the condition you are suffering from can be crucial. It is wise to try several different therapists before selecting one.
CBT can be delivered in a number of ways, such as one-on-one sessions, small groups or online. It may be provided by a counsellor, psychologist or mental health social worker.
The primary goal of your initial session is for your therapist to get to know you better and identify areas for assistance. They will then decide how best they can assist in reaching those objectives and improving quality of life for both of you.
On average, you can expect to spend 5-20 sessions with your therapist. Sessions usually last 45 minutes and occur once a week. Together, the two of you may also create strategies for use between sessions like journaling about thoughts and emotions.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy comes in various forms, from mindfulness-based therapy to rational emotive behavior therapy. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) combines meditation and mindfulness techniques with CBT, and it has been found to be effective for anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT), the original form of CBT, is an effective treatment for many issues including anxiety and depression as well as sleep disorders and addictive behaviors. It works on the principle that negative and unrealistic beliefs can have an adverse impact on one’s feelings, behaviors and relationships.
Exposure therapies are another popular type of CBT and they can be highly effective for anxiety disorders like PTSD or social anxiety. In this therapy, the therapist helps the patient face their fears in real-life scenarios like entering a crowded public space or giving a speech.