HealthWhat is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a special family therapy that focuses on the relationship between thoughts, emotions, and actions. It focuses on teaching individuals how to recognize inaccurate thinking patterns, understanding the connection between their thoughts and feelings and how change can affect their self-defeating behavior.

The cognitive-behavioral theory works through challenging negative thoughts that cause feelings of anxiety or depression. Read on and learn more about cognitive-behavioral therapy and its significance in treatment.

Types of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

There are four main types of CBT that help individuals understand how to manage their thoughts and emotions. Here’s a brief overview of each type:

Cognitive Therapy- focuses on identifying and changing distorted thoughts that lead to negative emotions or behaviors.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)- combines cognitive and behavioral therapies with mindful practices and acceptance strategies to help you learn how to manage intense emotions.

Multimodal Therapy- a holistic approach that suggests using several different cognitive behavioral therapy techniques. Psychologist Arnold Lazarus developed this type of therapy, placing his focus on treating the patient rather than addressing specific symptoms.

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)- posits that identifying irrational thoughts and scrutinizing them helps the patient manage emotions, thinking, and behaviors in a healthy way.

How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?

The goal of cognitive-behavioral theory is not only to help us manage our symptoms but also to improve the quality of our lives. The cognitive-behavioral theory argues that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are connected. It’s the ideas and beliefs we form that make us anxious, depressed, or angry. These feelings we create cognitively result in the development of certain behaviors.

CBT helps us identify unhelpful thoughts and beliefs about ourselves and challenge them positively. When we question our negative thinking, we challenge them and look for other possibilities to tackle our greatest fears.

Who Needs CBT?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is effective in treating many mental health conditions such as:

  •  Bipolar disorder
  •  Borderline personality disorder
  • Anxiety disorders such as social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • Hypochondria
  • Substance abuse and misuse
  • Insomnia
  • Eating disorders
  • Schizophrenia

CBT is also effective when used to treat people with health conditions such as:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia

The cognitive-behavioral theory doesn’t cure these conditions, but it teaches patients acceptance strategies to deal with them.

What Happens During CBT Sessions?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is done in weekly sessions, lasting 45 minutes to an hour. The number of sessions depends on how long it takes to reach your condition’s healing goals. Some patients have only five or six sessions, while others have as many as 20 or more sessions over several months.

Patients often work with their therapist to identify thoughts or behaviors that compound their problems during the therapy session.

The therapist may ask specific questions to determine patients’ personal affirmations that make them feel bad about themselves. They may also probe into how they handle situations when upset. Diving into the context and application of reactions helps the therapist know what past events contributed to their current position.

During family therapy, the therapist helps the patients identify the inaccurate set of thoughts, emotions, and beliefs they may have towards themselves. This allows people to become more aware of damaging thoughts, giving them the power to shut those thoughts down in the future. 

Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT doesn’t work for everyone. There are, however, many advantages accrued from using family cognitive-behavioral therapy, making it worth trying.

  • It raises the patients’ self-esteem
  • Allows thought-challenging and restructuring processes to take place
  • It helps the patient gain control of their emotions, such as anger
  • CBT improves the coping skills of the patient in accepting their situations
  • It enables the patient to face and overcome their fears.
  • CBT enhances the quality of their life by making patients feel better about themselves and reducing anxiety

Choose Cognitive-Behavioral Family Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy improves patients’ emotional well-being by identifying and correcting negative thought patterns. This therapy helps patients see how thoughts can affect their behavior and how changing their thinking can impact their outlook on life.

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