Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

``Man can alter his life by altering his thinking.`` –William James

Research and studies surrounding mental illness have made significant leaps over the last few decades. Truly, there is no denying how much more experts know about psychological conditions and how to treat them than they did a century ago.

With that being said, individuals who suffer from psychological disabilities have a few more options when it comes to managing their conditions through medication and therapy. Arguably, one of the most interesting and most prescribed types of therapy is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioral TherapyCognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is one of the most popular forms of talk therapy. It examines a patient’s thoughts, beliefs and characteristics in relation to their day to day behavior. It is a mash-up between two types of treatments – cognitive therapy, which deals with what patients think about, and behavioral therapy, which delves into what patients do.

CBT was initially used in order to treat depression. The root of the concept can be traced back to the development of behavioral therapy in the early 20th century and the progress of cognitive therapy in the 1960s. It was not until the 1980s however when the term cognitive behavioral therapy was first formally accepted.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is usually used in order to help patients suffering from depression and anxiety cope with day to day life. However, CBT can be a very malleable type of therapy. Given minor adaptations, this type of therapy can be beneficial for patients with anger problems, borderline personality disorder, substance abuse problems, psychosis, PTSD, obsessive compulsive disorder, and other psychological conditions.

Generally, CBT can be effective without the introduction of medication. However, its efficacy without drugs is highly dependent on what a person is suffering from.

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you handle what happens to you.” – Anonymous

What Can Be Expected from A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Session?

A CBT course can be delivered individually, in a group, through self-help text or through a computer program. This type of therapy is considered a short-term treatment which often requires 12 hour long sessions spread across three months.

At the onset of a CBT session, the therapist would most likely ask the patient what problems they want to solve or address during the course. After the issues have been identified and the goals have been set, each weekly session would be crafted in order to achieve the set goals. During the subsequent meetings, the therapist would dole out exercises that would explore the patient’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

CBT sessions vary from therapist to therapist. However, it is common for professionals to give assignments for patients to do in their own time. Moreover, a brief summary of the last meeting is often discussed at the beginning of a session in order to gauge a patient’s improvement.

What Are The Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Professionals have used cognitive behavioral therapy for over three decades. Needless to say, there are many benefits to choosing this type of treatment.

  • CBT is personalized and flexible. CBT sessions can be created based on the needs of the patient.  Not only can treatment be done during a person’s free time, but the type of therapeutic exercises is also tailor fitted to the patient’s condition.
  • CBT is backed up by research and clinical tests. Cognitive therapy has been around for more than fifty years.  Likewise, behavioral therapy has been used for at least a century.  The combination of both well-studied fields, on the other hand, is supported by thirty years’ worth of studies and trials.
  • CBT is goal-oriented and structured. CBT provides a patient with clear cut goals meeting per meeting.  It is easy and encouraging for a person suffering from a mental condition to see how far they have improved.

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