In this day and age, anxiety and depression can wreak havoc on your day-to-day life and yet treatment options can be expensive and time consuming. Finding a cost effective and short-term therapeutic option can help you feeling better, allowing you to get more enjoyment from your life, and this is where Cognitive Behavioral Therapy treatment comes in.
CBT, or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, was designed as a tool that can be utilized by anyone and everyone to help improve their overall mental wellbeing, and it can be used for those struggling with a range of difficulties, including bereavement, relationship difficulties and even the impact of medical difficulties.
Before you can make CBT work for you, it can be helpful to understand a bit about how it works – and how you can make it work for you.
What Is a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treatment?
CBT is a solution-focused therapy technique that aims at helping people to change their feelings, thoughts and behaviours. It is believed that by changing one of these aspects, the others will change, improving the individual’s overall sense of wellbeing.
CBT can be done on an individual level, or through group sessions, and because a large part of it is self-help, it doesn’t have to be a lengthy – or costly – process.
How Many Sessions Do I Need To Attend?
The number of CBT sessions you attend will depend on your specific circumstances, as well as the goals that you and your therapist set, but it is quite common for a CBT program to last between 8 and 12 sessions.
In some instances, a person might go through a program for each issue that they identify – returning to the therapist whenever they feel they need to. In other cases, a person might never need to return and only utilize the resources they have been given to continue to work on their mental health issues.
What Beliefs Form The Basis Of CBT?
There are a few beliefs that underpin CBT and its workings, including the fact that unhelpful thought patterns – which can automatically become ingrained in a person over the course of their life without them even being aware of them – can impact psychological wellbeing.
Unhelpful behaviors can also have a negative impact on a person’s way of thinking, as well as their feelings. Those who promote CBT believe that a person can change the way that they think and behave, and this in turn can change the way they feel.
What Are The Aims Of CBT?
During the CBT program, an individual will often look to achieve goals in partnership with their therapist.
These will include identifying certain problems and being able to articulate them in a clear way, becoming aware of automatic – and often unhelpful – thoughts, challenge negative thinking patterns, distinguish between irrational thoughts and facts, develop positive thinking patterns and becoming more aware of your feelings and what could impact them.
What are the Risks of CBT?
The risks of CBT are very minimal but there are instances where it could raise someone’s anxiety levels somewhat.
For example, for those undergoing exposure therapy, a person might be required to put themselves in situations they find uncomfortable, so they’ll need to deal with that discomfort for short periods of time.
What Tools Do CBT Therapists Use To Achieve Their Goals?
Those interested in attending a CBT session might want to know a bit about how a session will work. CBT therapists work with clients to achieve their goals by having regular discussions with their clients, giving feedback and even role-playing with them.
Clients will be given homework assignments to complete and they might be asked to keep a diary of their thoughts and feelings. They will also learn how to calm their body and mind, or they could be asked to confront their fears through being exposed to the things that they are afraid of.
What Conditions Can CBT Treat?
CBT might have been started in order to treat depression, but today it is being utilized on a wide range of conditions, including panic disorder, insomnia, PTSD, GAD, phobias, anger issues, substance abuse, eating disorders and even borderline personality disorder.
Do I Need To Talk About My Past?
CBT focuses very much on the present, so there is usually no need to bring up past events, unlike other forms of therapy where the past is a focus of many therapy sessions.
How Do I Know If CBT Is Right For Me?
Just like any other form of therapy, CBT might or might not be right for you – it all depends on what sort of therapy you are comfortable with, as well as your aims for your therapy.
Often, it takes actually going through with the program to see whether or not it will suit your needs but it has worked for millions of people throughout the world.
How Do I Find The Right Therapist For Me?
Before you find the right therapist, you need to prepare yourself for the search by doing a bit of homework. Start out by identifying what sort of qualifications you need to look out for – you might want to focus on those with a masters or doctorate.
Your therapist will also need to have a license to practice within their state. Lastly, you’ll want to look at their areas of expertise so that you can feel comfortable in the knowledge that they’ll be able to help you to traverse the road ahead.