Therapy, mental illnesses, or even expressing your emotions has been perceived as a stigma or sign of weakness by our dysfunctional society. However, as times have changed, people have become more aware of the importance of mental health and to open up about it.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapeutic treatment/talk therapy that helps people learn how to identify, understand and change negative, destructive, or disturbing thought patterns resulting in a negative influence on their behavior and emotions that disrupt their day-to-day life. try to figure out by doing something positive daily that could divert your mind from negativity like reading articles and motivational lines.
Individuals learn to develop a positive, rational, and healthier outlook and approach towards life, improving their emotional and mental health. CBT best addresses issues such as:
- Mental illnesses including depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, personality disorders, and substance abuse.
- Overcoming emotional trauma related to abuse and violence.
- Learning techniques to cope with grief, loss, and stressful life situations.
- Identifying and managing uncomfortable and negative emotions and actions.
Types Of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT encompasses a wide range of approaches and techniques approaches to address one’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. There are several specific types of psychotherapeutic approaches that involve CBT, including:
- Cognitive therapy is focused on identifying and changing distorted or bothersome thinking patterns, emotional and behavioral responses.
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) addresses thoughts as well as behaviors while utilizing various strategies such as mindfulness and emotional regulation.
- Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) is based on acceptances of oneself, identifying irrational beliefs, actively challenging these beliefs, and modifying your thinking pattern.
- Multimodal therapy is intended to optimize the treatment of psychological issues by incorporating seven different but interconnected modalities: behavior, affect, cognition, imagery, sensation, interpersonal factors, as well as drug/biological considerations.
Popular CBT Techniques:
Your therapist will help you open up and talk about what’s troubling you during your CBT sessions. Even if you are not initially comfortable talking about your feelings, your therapist can help you get more comfortable and confident.
CBT is focused on specific issues and is goal-oriented. Your therapist may ask you to perform homework, activities, and practices and apply it in your daily life and situations.
There are several CBT techniques one can use. Your therapist will work with you by implementing various strategies to find those that work best for you. These techniques aim to replace destructive or self-deprecating thoughts and actions with rational and positive ones.
Identifying Troubling Conditions Or Situations Affecting Your Life.
These may include issues such as symptoms of mental health disorders, medical conditions, heartbreak, loss, grief, or anger. You and your therapist may need to spend some time understand the true problem behind your troubles and what your goals are.
Becoming Self-Aware Of Your Thoughts, Emotions, And Beliefs Regarding Your Issues.
Once you’ve identified the issues you need to work on, your therapist will encourage you to share your thoughts and opinion about them. This may include observing your interpretation of a situation, self-talk (what you tell yourself about an experience), and your beliefs about yourself, other people, and events. Your therapist may even recommend you to journal your daily thoughts, emotions, and events.
Identify Negative Thinking Patterns.
To help you recognize patterns of behavior and thinking that may be contributing to your issues, your therapist may ask you to pay more attention to your emotional, behavioral, and physical responses in various situations and suggest you reinforce positive thoughts instead.
Reshape Negative Or Irrational Thinking.
Your therapist will encourage you to self-analyze whether your view on a situation is based on a fact or a misinterpreted assumption of what’s going on. This step can be difficult. You may have long-standing thought processes about your life as well as yourself. Helpful thinking and behavior patterns will eventually become a habit and won’t take as much effort with time and practice.
Getting The Most Out Of CBT
CBT isn’t effective for everyone. However, you can make an effort to get the most out of your therapy sessions and make it a success.
Be Open And Honest.
Success in therapy completely depends on your willingness to share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences and being open to new insights, perspectives, and ways of doing things.
Approach Therapy As A Partnership.
Therapy is most helpful and effective when you are an active participant. You and your therapist need to comply with one another about the major issues and how you can tackle them. Over time, you can set goals and assess progress together.
Don’t Expect Instant Results.
Working through emotional issues can be uncomfortable and painful, requiring genuine commitment and hard work. It’s common to feel worse during the initial phase of therapy as you begin to confront repressed and bothersome emotional conflicts. You may require several sessions of CBT before you begin to see some improvement.
Stick To Your Treatment Plan.
If you lack motivation, feel down, or are insecure, it may be tempting to skip therapy sessions. But doing so can entirely disrupt your progress. Attend all sessions sincerely.
Do Your Homework Between Sessions.
Follow through if your therapist asks you to read, journal, or do other activities outside your therapy sessions. Performing these homework tasks will help you apply and make purpose out of what you have learned in your therapy sessions in real life.
If you feel therapy isn’t helping, talk to your therapist about it. If you feel that you’re not benefiting from CBT even after several sessions, you and your therapist may need to decide to make some changes or try out a different approach.
Things To Consider
There are numerous challenges that people often run into during the course of cognitive-behavioral therapy.
CBT Is Very Structured
CBT doesn’t tend to focus on underlying or unconscious resistance to change as much as other practices such as psychoanalytic psychotherapy. It is generally best suited for people who are more comfortable with a focused and structured approach wherein the therapist often takes up an instructional role.
Change Can Be Difficult
Initially, some patients might suggest that while they are able to recognize that certain thoughts are not healthy or rational, simply becoming aware of them does not make it any easier to alter them.
People Must Be Willing To Change
For CBT to be effective and useful, the individual must be willing to spend time and effort analyzing their thoughts and emotions. Such self-analysis and homework activities can be challenging, but it is an excellent way to learn more about how your internal state impacts external behavior.
Progress Is Usually Gradual.
In most cases, CBT is a gradual process that helps an individual take progressive steps toward a change. For instance, someone with an eating disorder might start trying not to gag after every time they eat something. The next thing they know, they are eating healthily and getting comfortable in their own skin. Progressively working toward a greater goal makes the process seem less daunting and easier to achieve.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy may not entirely cure your condition or make a stressful situation go away. But it can help you better yourself gradually and give you the power to cope with your situation in a healthier way and feel better about yourself and your life.
The reliability and validity of CBT for anxiety disorders is assessed by Otte and Christian in “Cognitive behavioral therapy in anxiety disorders: current state of the evidence.” Dialogues in clinical neuroscience (2011).