What Is Cognitive Behavior Therapy?
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a type of talk therapy that works to alter your thoughts and emotions for improved wellbeing. It has proven successful in treating conditions like anxiety, depression and phobias.
CBT can also assist with addictions and other behavioral issues. The therapy may be utilized alone or combined with medication and other approaches.
Treatment with CBT can be used for virtually any disorder. Contrary to other forms of psychotherapy, no specific diagnosis or medical condition is usually necessary before beginning treatment. Treatment typically lasts 5-20 sessions with some additional follow-up sessions required as needed; typically, however, treatment results last around one year after initial completion.
You can locate a therapist who uses cognitive behavior therapy through your primary healthcare provider, friends or family members, or online through local and state psychological associations. Make sure they are licensed and certified in the area of concern, as well as experienced in treating mental health disorders.
Be patient when searching for the ideal therapist; one who understands and can address your specific problems while offering personalized attention and support.
In the initial phase of therapy, you and your therapist will ask questions to identify any problematic patterns of thinking that are making life difficult for you. Your therapist then helps guide you in breaking these patterns of thought and replacing them with more realistic ones.
They may also ask you to keep a journal of your thoughts and emotions during stressful situations. These diaries are intended to help identify unhealthy thought patterns, beliefs, and behaviors that are contributing to your problems.
Your therapist will then instruct you on how to alter these unhealthy patterns of thinking and feeling so that you can better cope with stressful situations. They may also provide you with useful skills and techniques for handling such difficult circumstances.
These techniques include thought recording, role playing, rehearsal exercises, imagery and homework assignments to put these new thinking patterns into action.
Psychoeducation is another integral element of CBT, complementing cognitive techniques. Your therapist will draw upon examples from your own life to teach you how to change unhealthy thought patterns and develop healthier ones.
Education is essential for developing the necessary skills and tools to get through tough situations without becoming overwhelmed or depressed. It also enables you to understand your symptoms better, so that any unfounded fears can be dismissed that may be causing discomfort or pain.
Your therapist will assist in setting goals for therapy and creating a plan to reach them. This could include finding a new job, dealing with a break-up, or conquering anxiety or depression. Together, you and your therapist will determine whether the goal has been reached or additional work needs to be done.