Cognitive Therapy Approach
Cognitive therapy approach (CBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy designed to help people combat mental health conditions like depression. It draws upon Aaron Beck’s cognitive model from the 1960s, which contends that how one interprets and feels about events shapes their emotions and behavior.
Cognitive therapists employ a range of tools to identify irrational thinking, challenge harmful thought patterns and replace them with healthier, more realistic perspectives on life. Furthermore, they assist patients in learning new coping strategies and practicing them in realistic scenarios.
First, they identify the irrational beliefs contributing to their mental health problems and strive to challenge these distorted thoughts through techniques like reframing–a way of altering your perspective on something so you see it in a more positive light.
The client may use the technique known as distancing, in which they learn to distance themselves from negative thoughts and emotions. Although this can be a challenging step, it is an integral component of the process.
Second, they assess a person’s motivation to change their behavior and how they feel about any changes made. Patients often lack intrinsic drive to make positive changes in their lives; this is where therapists can step in by building up confidence and motivating them to take action in order to reach their objectives.
Third, therapists can also help people transform their relationship to their thoughts and feelings. By encouraging the patient to view negative beliefs and emotions objectively, therapists help the patient gain clarity on the circumstances that caused these negative impressions.
Fourth, therapists can assist a patient in learning to tolerate their anxiety and creating an effective coping strategy for it. To do this, therapists use methods such as behavioural experiments to test out irrational beliefs or catastrophic predictions about one’s future that patients often harbor; this helps the individual develop more realistic expectations about themselves in the present.
Fifth, therapists can teach their patients to use meditation and other mindfulness exercises to reduce stress, improve moods and outlooks on life. These practices help bring about positive changes in a person’s outlook.
Psychotherapists can offer treatment for various mental health disorders, such as anxiety and addiction. Furthermore, they have the capacity to support trauma, PTSD, chronic pain issues and eating disorders.
Treatment plans for CBT vary based on each individual’s needs, but typically consist of 5-20 weekly sessions lasting 45 minutes each. Patients often receive assignments between sessions to reinforce skills learned in therapy.
The aim of therapy is to assist a person in changing their thinking, leading them to overcome mental health issues and lead a happier, more productive life. Cognitive therapists employ various techniques for treating both causes and symptoms of someone’s condition such as distancing, behavioural experiments, cognitive defusion, acceptance and mindfulness.