Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
What is CBT?
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on changing negative thought patterns to change negative feelings and behaviors.
CBT has been shown to be effective in treating various mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and substance abuse. It aims to help people better manage their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
How Does CBT work?
CBT typically involves working with a mental health therapist to identify negative thought patterns and then learning to replace those thoughts with more positive ones. We do this by exploring our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in different situations. Once we become aware of our negative thinking patterns, we can start to challenge them with more realistic and positive thoughts.
CBT teaches us how to change our behaviors to be more positive and helpful. This might involve learning new coping skills for dealing with stress or anxiety-provoking situations or practicing assertiveness or social skills.
The goal of this form of therapy is not to necessarily eliminate all negative thoughts but rather to learn how to cope with them better.
What Happens During the Session?
During the session, your therapist will help you dissect your issues into three categories: thoughts, physical feelings, and actions. Together, you and your therapist will discuss these areas to determine if they're hurting or helpful to you and how they affect each other.
Your therapist will guide you on how to change self-destructive thoughts and behaviors. You will then talk about how the changes went at your next session. After you and your therapist have figured out what changes need to be made, they will ask that you practice these new habits in your day-to-day life.
How Long Does a Session Last?
Sessions usually last between 45 and 60 minutes for 5 to 20 sessions. You'll usually meet with a therapist once a week or every other week.
CBT is usually provided in weekly sessions for 12-20 weeks, although some people may need longer-term treatment.
3 Key Benefits of CBT
If you have ever struggled with anxiety, depression, or any other mental health issue, you may have considered cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). But what exactly are the benefits of CBT? Let’s take a closer look.
#1. It can help you understand your thoughts and feelings.
CBT can help you identify the negative thoughts that are causing you distress. Once you are aware of these thoughts, you can start to challenge and change them. This can lead to a more positive outlook on life.
#2. It can help you manage your emotions.
CBT can teach you how to deal with overwhelming emotions more constructively. You will learn how to control your reactions to situations that trigger negative emotions better. This can improve relationships, reduce stress, and increase job satisfaction.
#3. It can help you change your behaviors.
CBT can help you identify unhealthy behaviors that may make your situation worse. Once you are aware of these behaviors, you can start to make changes that will improve your overall well-being. This can lead to increased physical activity, improved sleep, and healthier eating habits.
5 Ways to Make the Most of Your CBT Sessions
As mentioned, you'll work with your therapist to identify negative thoughts and behaviors contributing to your distress during each session. You'll then learn how to replace these unhealthy thoughts and behaviors with positive ones.
If you're currently in CBT sessions or preparing to start them, you may wonder how to make the most of them. Here are five ways to make the most of your CBT sessions.
1. Be prepared to discuss what's going on in your life.
Before each session, take some time to reflect on what's been going on in your life since your last appointment. This will help jumpstart the conversation and ensure you make the most of your time with your therapist.
2. Come ready to talk about your feelings.
To effectively address your mental health condition, it's essential to be open and honest about how you're feeling—both good and bad. So don't hold back during your CBT sessions!
3. Be willing to try new things.
You'll likely be asked to try some new coping mechanisms and strategies during CBT. It can be tempting to resist these changes, but it's essential to keep an open mind and give them a chance! After all, you won't know if they'll work until you try them.
4. Be patient.
Change takes time, so don't expect miracles overnight! Trust that the CBT process will work—even if it takes some time—and stick with it for long-term results.
5. Take an active role in your treatment.
You must actively participate in the therapy process for CBT to be successful. This means practicing your new coping skills between sessions and providing feedback about how things are going.
Are There Any Risks with CBT?
Though it is generally safe, cognitive behavioral therapy may cause some emotional discomfort as you explore painful memories and experiences. You might cry, get angry, or feel upset during a session and also find yourself fatigued afterward.
However, working with a professional therapist can significantly minimize any risks. The skills you learn from them will help equip you to manage and conquer negative emotions and phobias.
CBT with The Wise Self Psychotherapy Clinic