How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Works

How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Works

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT, is a psychological talk therapy treatment.  It is a form of talk therapy that is reliant on you working directly with a therapist.  It is a form of therapy that focuses on realizing negative thinking, and negative responses to situations.  It can help you become more aware of inaccurate responses and thinking and help you change that thinking to become more positive.  This type of therapy is usually used with other types of therapy as well. 

 

Who can CBT help?

CBT can be a tool to help with emotional challenges.  These could be to help manage mental illness symptoms, prevent mental illness relapses, or treat mental illness. 

It has also shown to be able to help learn techniques in coping with stress, or to learn to manage emotions better. 

CBT can also help someone cope with alcohol and drug use, marital problems, eating disorders, severe mental illness, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), coping with grief or loss, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, divorce, or low self esteem.  

 

How fast does CBT work?

The main thing with cognitive behavioral therapy is it takes time.  Do not be discouraged if you don’t get immediate results.  Like any therapy it takes time, and it focuses on finding tools to help you navigate situations and emotions so it can take some time.  The length of therapy can be dependent on lots of different things.  Such as the severity of symptoms, how long you’ve been suffering from symptoms, how your progress goes during therapy, and how much support you have from others.  Keep with it, talk with your therapist if you are feeling discouraged and do your homework when your therapist gives you some.  

 

What can I expect?

The main steps of CBT are first identifying your triggers.  This means what is causing you trouble.  Is it stress, relationship, mental illness, or PTSD. After you find out your triggers you will then identify what emotions you get from your triggers.

Do your triggers make you angry, sad, or depressed?  Once you have identified your emotions you will then identify the negative thinking behind these emotions. Your therapist may even suggest you journal when you are feeling these emotions so you can write down what you are thinking.

The final step is to reshape the negative thinking.  This is the part that can take some time.  If you have had negative self doubt, or low self esteem your whole life you will be rewiring your thinking to get rid of these negative thoughts and learning tools to help eliminate those thoughts.

 

Are there CBT options?

There are a few different approaches to cognitive behavioral therapy.  The first type is cognitive therapy which focuses on changing your thinking from negative or inaccurate thoughts. 

Another approach is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) which focuses on thoughts while adding in strategies of mindfulness. 

The other two approaches are multimodal therapy and rational emotive behavior therapy. 

Other techniques that can be used alongside CBT are SMART goals, making small achievable goals, guided discovery and questioning, journaling, self-talk, cognitive restructuring, thought recording, positive activities, or situation exposure.  

 

Will CBT work for me?

CBT has been shown to help a lot of people with a variety of different mental or emotional illnesses.  Though it does take some time to work through the process of CBT to identify all the triggers, emotions, and negative thinking once you get to reshaping your mind in whatever best way your therapist and you come up with you will be on the road to being more mindful and learning to manage stressful life situations in a healthier and better way.  Since there are lots of different approaches to CBT you will be able to find one that works best for you.  

 

If you are concerned you may be suffering from depression.  Take the HealthStatus quiz now!


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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators.

The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our blood alcohol, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years. Our team of health professionals, and researchers use peer reviewed studies as source elements in our articles. Our high quality content has been featured in a number of leading websites, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Live Strong, GQ, and many more.

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