Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Adult Skills,  Individual Development

What Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Do?

This article asks: What Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Do? If you feel like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is something that you want to find out more about, this article provides a good introduction to CBT and its benefits.

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy is one form of talk therapy that can be useful in problem management.

Anxiety and depression are the most common conditions for which it is prescribed, but it has benefits for both mental and physical health.

How does Cognitive behavioral therapy work?

Evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy consists of theory and skill-based interactions (conversation). It offers a safe space free from judgment where you can share your thoughts and feelings with an objective mental health professional trained to help you.

A course of cognitive behavioral treatment normally consists of a set number of sessions (typically five to 20). Immediate success is unrealistic.

Time and effort are required for CBT, and the work might be unpleasant at times. Imagine your therapist as a collaborator on a project. If you cooperate in the direction of your shared objectives, you’ll eventually be able to evaluate your success.

Here’s how it works. Your therapist will:

Gain an understanding of the issue:
You and your therapist will start by discussing the difficulties you’ve been experiencing, the symptoms you’ve noticed, and any worries you have. Identifying what you hope to gain from therapy is the first and most crucial step.

Ask a series of questions:
Your therapist could probe you with questions related to your circumstance. You might talk about something that you experienced in the past, a fear or phobia, a problematic habit, or how you feel about yourself. You will discuss your responses to gain an understanding of your coping mechanisms in the face of adversity.

Help you recognize problematic thoughts and behaviors:
Your therapist will use question-and-answer sessions to help you reflect on your reactions to challenging situations.

Together, you’ll figure out what negative thoughts, feelings, and actions are causing your problems. Your therapist may recommend keeping a journal to record your thoughts and feelings in these instances.

Work with you to adjust your thoughts and behaviors:
A professional therapist will work with you to identify and implement strategies for altering destructive feelings, ideas, and routines.

You can alter your outlook and engage in more constructive ways of thinking and behaving. Then, you’ll be able to take what you’ve learned and use it in the future.

What is the theory behind CBT?

The core premise of cognitive behavioral therapy is that one’s mental processing of a given scenario influences their emotional response and subsequent actions. If you see something negatively, for instance, you may feel poorly about it. That’s because your negative emotions may influence the way you act.

To help you manage these kinds of thoughts and actions, CBT combines two distinct therapeutic approaches:

Thinking about how you feel can be a key component of cognitive therapy
Behavioral analysis (or “behavior therapy”), in which you reflect on your patterns of behavior

What does Cognitive behavioral therapy treat?

CBT is widely used to treat many mental health conditions and issues, such as:

  • Depression
  • Anger Issues
  • Bipolat disorder
  • Anxiety and Panic Attacks
  • Eating disorders
  • Drugs or alcohol problems
  • Hoarding
  • Phobias
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Psychosis
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Self-harm
  • Stress
  • Sleeping disorders
  • Schizophrenia

Your therapist may suggest a modified cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to address a mental health issue. Alternative names for forms of CBT developed to address particular problems are possible.

To combat PTSD, for instance, a patient might be recommended trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) (PTSD).

In addition, your therapist may recommend cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for physical health issues. This includes situations where mental health issues coexist with physical ones.

What happens during CBT sessions

If cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is recommended, you can expect to see a therapist once or every other week.

Each session lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, and the total treatment time can range from 5 to 20 sessions.

You and your therapist will work together to identify the root causes of your difficulties and address each one in turn during your sessions.

Together, you and your therapist will examine these factors to determine whether they are realistic or helpful and to assess their impact on you and your overall well-being.

The therapist will then be able to assist you in developing strategies for altering destructive patterns of thought and action.

Once you and your therapist have identified areas where you can improve, you will be asked to put what you’ve learned into practice in your everyday life before meeting again to discuss your progress.

One of the ultimate goals of therapy is to help you generalize the skills you develop there into your regular life.

This should help you cope with your issues and lessen their hold on your life long after formal treatment has ended.

Types of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The mind, body, and spirit are all targets of CBT’s many methods and strategies. Structured psychotherapies and self-help methods are two examples. Cognitive behavioral therapy is used in various therapeutic contexts, including but not limited to the following:

  • Cognitive Therapy: The focus is on recognizing and altering dysfunctional ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): is a therapy that aims to help patients learn to control their emotions and focus on the present moment to overcome problematic thought patterns and actions.
  • Multimodal therapy: this approach proposes to treat psychological problems effectively. It is necessary to consider not just one but seven distinct yet interrelated modalities, including effect and behavior. Factors involving sensing, thinking, imagining, drug/biological factors, and social interactions
  • Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy: This Involves learning to recognize and alter destructive thinking patterns by identifying and questioning unreasonable beliefs.

While there are differences in method amongst the many forms of cognitive behavioral therapy, they all focus on altering dysfunctional thinking habits that can lead to emotional and mental anguish.

How long will I need Cognitive behavioral therapy?

The typical length of treatment for cognitive behavioral therapy is 12 – 20 weeks. As a result of the complexity of mental health issues and individual differences, the duration of treatment can vary.

Learning how to control your emotions and improve your quality of life may take some time, but you should keep going. You’ve taken the first crucial step by asking for assistance. Any forward motion is welcome.