What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psychological treatment that seeks to identify and undo negative thought patterns. Additionally, CBT can teach you new coping techniques for anxiety or depression.

It is often prescribed to treat mental health conditions such as depression, phobias and eating disorders. When combined with psychiatric medication, it has proven particularly successful.

CBT therapists are taught to examine their patients’ thoughts at various levels and select techniques that target the most pertinent one. This helps break down complex thought patterns, which can be challenging but essential in the process.

The therapist will encourage the patient to pay attention to their emotions and physical reactions in various scenarios. Furthermore, they should become aware of self-talk, interpretations of what they feel, as well as beliefs about themselves and other people.

In some cases, therapists may suggest that clients keep a journal of their thoughts and feelings. Doing this can be extremely helpful as it allows them to review what has been learned about their thought patterns over time.

Therapy sessions often begin with your therapist asking you to set goals specific to your condition that can help keep you focused on the task at hand. These can be tailored around whatever difficulties or obstacles arise in therapy.

They could also include goals for your life as a whole. For instance, if you struggle with substance use issues, your therapist might suggest setting objectives around how you will cope social situations that could trigger relapse.

Goals may include decreasing the amount of time you think about a particular situation or increasing your tolerance for distressing circumstances. With these objectives in mind, a therapist can then assist in developing and practicing new coping techniques that can be applied in real-life scenarios.

Goal setting is an integral component of therapy, as it often makes the difference between a successful outcome and one that doesn’t. It also serves to keep you accountable during treatment by helping you monitor your progress.

Your therapist may ask you to keep track of your thoughts, feelings and behaviors so they can assess whether any are getting worse. This could be done through simple self-report questionnaires or more detailed forms that assess emotional or behavioral states.

Symptom monitoring is an integral component of CBT, as it helps you recognize issues early and reduces the likelihood that you’ll lapse into one or start relapsing. It could be as straightforward as counting how often you have had a panic attack, or it could be more complex like tracking how frequently you engage in obsessional compulsions.

CBT differs from other forms of therapy in that it’s goal-driven and requires you to complete homework assignments to put the skills acquired during therapy into practice. Your therapist may also encourage you to collaborate with other individuals who will assist in your recovery process.

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