Cognitive Behavioral Therapy CBT: How, When, and Why It Works

Yes, many studies have documented the benefits of CBT for treating depression. Research shows that CBT is often equally as effective as antidepressants; patients who receive CBT may also be less likely to relapse after treatment than those who receive medication. CBT can provide patients with the inner resources they need to heal—and to prevent a depressive episode from recurring in the future. Additionally, CBT programs can be standardized and tested so that the mental health field can identify which programs are effective, how long they take, and the benefits that patients can expect. Cognitive behavioral therapy may not cure your condition or make an unpleasant situation go away. But it can give you the power to cope with your situation in a healthy way and to feel better about yourself and your life.

  • CBT is appropriate for people of all ages, including children, adolescents, and adults.
  • Since CBT is a collaborative effort, it’s important to feel comfortable with and connected to your therapist.
  • Depressive disorders can occur as heterogeneous conditions in clinical scenario ranging from transient minor symptoms to severe and debilitating clinical conditions, causing severe social and occupational impairments.
  • This should help you manage your problems and stop them having a negative impact on your life, even after your course of treatment finishes.
  • CBT provides the tools to alter the thoughts and behaviors that exacerbate anxiety.
  • It helps you or your client address the “Four P Factors” described just above—predisposing, precipitating, perpetuating, and protective factors.

It also helps people to think more clearly and to control their own thoughts better. The term cognitive comes from the Latin “cognoscere”, meaning “to recognize.” The point of cognitive therapy is to form a clear idea of your own thoughts, attitudes and expectations. The goal is to reveal and change false and distressing beliefs, because it is often not only the things and situations themselves that cause problems, but the importance that we attach to them too. CBT often targets cognitive distortions, or irrational patterns of thought that can negatively affect behavior.

Who is cognitive behavioral therapy for?

We are often concerned about fairness, but this concern can be taken to extremes. The person who goes through life looking for fairness in all their experiences will end up resentful and unhappy. For instance, a person may believe that arriving a few minutes late to a meeting led to it being derailed and that everything would have been fine if they were on time. Alternatively, one might minimize the importance of positive things, such as an accomplishment at work or a desirable personal characteristic.

The statutory health insurance company decides whether to approve therapy based on an evaluation. Whereas other types of therapy may look at how previous events have affected your current state of mind, CBT tends to focus much more on current cognitive behavioral therapy issues and moving forward. CBT also focuses exclusively on the individual versus any family problems or other situations that may impact a person’s life. Behavioral therapy is often focused on current issues and how to change them.

Types of Therapy

Being directly confronted with your problems or anxieties may be very stressful at first, and relationships might also suffer as a result. It is crucial to speak openly with your psychotherapist if any difficulties come up during therapy. Such reframing can help someone refrain from engaging in counterproductive behavior.

cognitive behavioral therapy

This should help you manage your problems and stop them having a negative impact on your life, even after your course of treatment finishes. Your therapist will then be able to help you work out how to change unhelpful thoughts and behaviours. You and your therapist will analyse these areas to work out if they’re unrealistic or unhelpful, and to determine the effect they have on each other and on you. The course of treatment usually lasts for between 6 and 20 sessions, with each session lasting 30 to 60 minutes. Join 550,000+ helping professionals who get free, science-based tools sent directly to their inbox. You can set your phone to remind you throughout the day to stop what you are doing and think of the positive things around you.







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