Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Depression and Anxiety Disorders
Therapy helps you and your therapist work together to identify and challenge false beliefs that lead to self-destructive feelings and behaviors. These may include thinking you are unlovable or lacking a sense of identity or purpose. Cognitive therapy helps replace these thoughts with healthier ones such as believing you deserve love or possess an intense sense of worthiness.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based treatment for mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety disorders. Studies have demonstrated its superiority or similar effectiveness to drug-based therapies, with reports of reduced relapse rates among clients.
CBT is founded on the idea that certain negative thoughts lead to harmful outcomes, such as suicidal ideation or suicide attempts. These beliefs may originate from one particular experience or be the result of multiple negative thought patterns leading to poor self-management habits such as black-and-white thinking or jumping to conclusions.
A cognitive therapist can assist you in recognizing the thoughts that are causing you distress, and working together with them to alter them. This could be done through journaling or talking openly about your ideas with an experienced professional.
You will learn to identify distorted thoughts, such as overgeneralization or catastrophizing. These illogical ways of thinking can lead to serious problems in your life; they may cause a lack of self-worth and the tendency to avoid social situations altogether.
For instance, you might be feeling unlovable due to your limited social skills. Cognitive therapy helps you and your therapist uncover all evidence proving this isn’t true and help shift the way you think.
Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is another type of cognitive therapy. This technique involves psychoeducation about PTSD and teaching you to recognize specific cognitive distortions that cause or maintain PTSD symptoms.
When a client holds the perception of incompetence, it can lead them to assume they cannot manage new situations effectively, leading them to become stressed and anxious. A therapist helps the client recognize that this stress response stems from their distorted negative belief and is actually an entirely normal physiological reaction which they can learn how to better manage.
In addition to working with your therapist on changing negative thoughts, you may also be given other tools like cognitive restructuring. This involves recognizing all distortions affecting your thinking — such as overgeneralizing or catastrophizing — and trying to unravel them.
You’ll also be provided with other techniques, like thought recording. This involves writing down negative thoughts and beliefs and then coming up with evidence both supporting them and refuting them.
Cognitive therapy has the potential to be a valuable and life-saving treatment for depression and other mental health disorders. However, it requires considerable commitment from both client and therapist in order to be successful.