Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an approach that addresses dysfunctional emotions behavior, and cognitive processes based upon a combination of basic behavioral and cognitive principles and techniques. CBT is problem-focused and action-oriented strategy therapists use to help patients address specific problems such as anxiety, depression, and even more complex psychiatric problems.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy refers to a number of structured methods of psychotherapy that center on the thoughts behind a patient’s issues. One survey of nearly 2,300 psychologists in the United States found that about 70 percent use CBT in combination with other therapies to treat depression and anxiety. CBT is also a predominant psychotherapy paradigm being taught in psychology graduate degree programs.
How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Works
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is based on the idea that human beings are somewhat irrational and make a lot of illogical errors whenever they assess the risks and benefits of various situations and courses of their thoughts and actions. This can lead to out-of-control emotions such as anger and depression. But, CBT is also used to treat a variety more complex issues, such as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), OCD, substance abuse, ADHD, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, among other illnesses.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapists must have a good rapport with their patients for it to be effective such as good communication skills and a good match in personality types. This is because patient and therapist work together to discuss the issues at hand and the patient’s thinking reasonings for his or her thoughts and actions towards those issues. the ultimate goal is to change thinking patterns so the patient can experience fewer chronically negative emotional states.
The National Alliance for Mental Health in favor of CBT because it has excellent scientific data supporting its use in the clinical treatment of mental illness, and it has achieved wide popularity both for therapists and patients both.
Research on the effectiveness of CBT has been found to be effective for a wide range of disorders. These studies are well-controlled, the data are analyzed sufficiently, and the results speak for themselves. For example, CBT has been found to provide significant advantages in the treatment of bipolar disorder and resulting in fewer days in hospital, lower rates of suicide, and lower rates of para-suicidal or self-injurious behavior.
Precautions to Take Before Starting Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, social workers and other mental-health professionals complete years of training and education, however, it is possible to practice therapy without such a solid training background. Some things to research before deciding upon a CBT practitioner are educational background and training, along with any professional associations do they belong to, such as the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, where most top therapists are members.
Before seeing a making your first appointment, check his or her background, education, certification, and licensing. Psychotherapist is often used as a general term. The key is to find a skilled therapist who can match the type and therapy with your needs. In most cases, CBT is most effective when it is combined with other treatments, such as taking medications. So, in addition to your therapist, you might also need a psychiatrist for prescribing medications.
Another thing to consider is the cost. If you have health insurance, find out what coverage it offers for the therapy sessions. Some may not be covered at all. So, be sure to talk to the therapist about fees and payment options before your first visit.
Before your first appointment, think about what problems you are having that need treatment. While you can also sort some of this out with your therapist, having a good sense of your problems in advance can help as a starting point. Again, check for their qualifications and experience, specifically with your issues. Some therapists may not meet the qualifications you need. If you do not find the right one the first time around, do not give up. Do your homework, and you will be able to find a good Cognitive Behavioral Therapist.