What Is CBT and Does It Work?
Whenever you go to a psychology class or an agency that offers mental health services, you usually encounter words like ‘cognition’, ‘behavior’, and ‘therapy’. You can even hear those words in one terminology that has been able to help out individuals who are diagnosed with certain mental disorders.
The term you might encounter is ‘cognitive behavioral therapy’ and as much as it sounds complicated, it is a simple psychological treatment done by qualified mental health professionals to help alleviate or lighten the psychological distress you are experiencing.
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT is a specific type of psychotherapeutic intervention that helps you in distinguishing destructive or unhealthy thought patterns. It is an integrated form of therapy since it combines concepts from behavioral therapy and cognitive therapy.
CBT is built on the theory that states how our thoughts create feelings which eventually manifests through our behavior. It focuses on changing your distorted thoughts so maladaptive behaviors can be prevented.
When we become overwhelmed with what we are thinking, it translates to feelings of anxiety, sadness, or other negative feelings.
Eventually, if there is a constant negative feeling, it creates unhealthy behavior: Self-harm, panic attacks, overeating, starving yourself, or excessively consuming harmful substances like alcohol or drugs are types of maladaptive behavior.
“Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them.” -Albert Ellis
Albert Ellis through his theory claim that your emotions and maladaptive behavior are a product of your thoughts. How you respond to other people’s behavior depends on how you interpret the said behavior.
What you feed your mind, you feel and you manifest. As your mind is a powerful space when left to its own, and without a filter, it can make you feel like you are at war with yourself.
Through Cognitive behavioral therapy, your thoughts are recognized, challenged, and replaced with more unbiased and realistic thoughts. CBT techniques help you establish a filter as a way for you to cope so that negative emotions or behaviors are managed.
What are the Different Types of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy varies in approaches and techniques that target unhealthy or destructive thoughts, emotions, and behavior. The client and therapist relationship is usually a collaborative one because there is no progress if you, as a client, do not want to actively participate.
For the therapist to help you out and develop a treatment strategy, there must be open and active communication. The following are types of therapeutic approaches that involve CBT:
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) - focuses on thoughts and behaviors while merging CBT techniques that help with the regulation of emotions and mindfulness therapy.
- Cognitive therapy- identifies and changes distorted thinking patterns, impulsive emotional responses, and behavior into positive and rational thinking, feeling, and behavior.
- Multimodal Therapy- addresses that psychological distress arises if there is an issue within the seven modalities: behavior, affect, your senses, imagery, cognition, interpersonal factor, and biological effects.
- Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) - concentrates on classifying and challenging beliefs or ideals that are not in touch with reality, which is the stepping stone in learning to identify and create new rational thought patterns.
Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Effective?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) through the years is a treatment proven to be helpful to you if you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, panic attacks, eating disorders, relationship problems, substance use disorders, phobias, impulse control or other psychologically distressing issues.
It is commonly used by therapists as a way to help you establish healthy thought patterns whenever there are events that are stressful or events that may trigger you to react negatively. As CBT is a goal-directed and short-term type of therapy, it is effective if you’re under psychological distress because it helps you focus on the root problem which is your thoughts.
For Cognitive behavioral therapy therapists, they teach you how to become fully engaged in your growth -- the wrong patterns you acknowledge and the thoughts you want to replace. It is also the goal of a CBT therapist to help you become someone who can heal yourself and spark healing for others.
Understanding your thoughts and learning new thought patterns can take up time. Your triggers can further create psychological distress or you can see it as another opportunity for growth. Your thoughts affect your emotions and eventually show up as a negative behavior. It takes active engagement to become self-aware; it takes understanding to start the healing.
If you find yourself in a situation you see as a threat and if it creates negative thoughts that are affecting your emotions, it is a tendency to show unhealthy behavior.
If you feel that you might benefit from Cognitive behavioral therapy, it is offered by therapists at Butlr Health since it is recognized as an effective choice of treatment.
For every effective therapy, there is an individual who is ready and committed to engaging in time and effort as a way to understand oneself and grow.
What about you? Are you willing to engage for the sake of your mental health?