Let’s Talk About Cognitive Behavioral TherapyMarie Miguel | Updated: 04-02-2021 15:43 IST | Created: 04-02-2021 15:43 IST
We live in a time where mental health is more important than ever. If you are suffering from depression, anxiety, or need help accomplishing your goals, you may consider speaking to a therapist about your condition.
One way a therapist can help you is through cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. What is it? How can it help you? In this post, we will look at CBT and explain how it works.
What is CBT?
CBT is a form of talk therapy that involves speaking to a therapist throughout a few sessions. In a nutshell, CBT reveals that there are negative thinking patterns and habits that contribute to your problems.
CBT is a versatile form of therapy, as it is known to treat a laundry list of problems. Because it doesn't take many sessions to work its magic, many therapists will use CBT as their go-to.
What Can CBT Treat?
CBT can treat various mental health issues. Let's look at some of them:
- Depression and anxiety. Negative thinking patterns can worsen depression and anxiety symptoms, so being mindful of that can help you treat it.
- Relationship issues. Negative actions and thoughts can contribute to toxic relationship habits, which can cause problems down the road.
- Grief. While grieving is important, CBT can help you to heal faster.
- Medical illnesses. Negative thinking can worsen your symptoms, so CBT can help you.
- OCD. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is about intrusive thoughts leading to rituals, so CBT can help to break the cycle.
- And much more. Almost every mental health, or even personal problem can be treated through CBT.
Is it Risky?
CBT is not risky, but there may be times where you have to face issues that make you uncomfortable. You may have painful emotions that are backed up.
However, you can lessen these risks by finding a good therapist. A therapist who specializes in CBT will know how to ease you into it, and they can be able to allow you to confront issues that make you uncomfortable without pushing your personal boundaries.
What Can I Expect?
After finding the right therapist for the job, you may wonder how your first CBT session will go.
Your first session tends to be the icebreaker. Your therapist will gather info about your issues, and about yourself. You'll tell what you want out of this and your therapist will give you a plan as to how the next few sessions will go.
What about the next session? This typically involves speaking about your thoughts, feelings, and problems. A good therapist can help you to open up when you are feeling shy. The therapist may assign homework to help you as well.
After a bit, the therapist will teach you how to identify negative thinking patterns. These can help you to figure out how you can replace these negative thinking patterns with something much more productive.
This isn't to say you can't have negative thoughts, but it's important you learn how to reshape it.
It's a short process. It may take only five sessions for you to see results. How long it takes will, of course, depend on the severity of your issues and how long it takes for you to make any progress.
It's Not a Cure
We should be clear that CBT isn't a cure. It won't make something like anxiety go away instantly.
However, CBT can help you to cope and improve your symptoms. Let's go back to anxiety for a second. While CBT may not cure your anxiety, it can help you to cope when you are having symptoms and help you to reduce the amount of anxiety episodes that you do have.
And It's Not Effective for Everyone
CBT is a very versatile technique that is effective for most, but not everyone. There are some who may not respond to CBT very well.
With therapy, it's all about trying new techniques and seeing what works. A good therapist will try something else if something doesn't work.
Quite often, CBT will be paired with other therapy techniques. For example, gradual exposure therapy. This is when a therapist will treat your fears by putting you in situations of increasing anxiety.
Another thing you have to remember is that you won't see instant results right away. Some people drop therapy because they aren't seeing instant changes. However, it does take a good while before you start seeing results. Not forever, mind you, but it may take a few sessions before you start to show some changes.
You Have to Participate
Another thing you have to remember is that you have to put in the effort.
If you aren't practicing the techniques your therapist teaches you, and you aren't doing the assignments your therapist gives you, you can't go far.
Therapy is not like a doctor, where you take medicine and you are cured. You need to be someone who participates and is able to correct yourself if there need to be any changes to the program.
Online Therapy Can Help
If you can't leave your home or have an erratic schedule, online therapy may be able to help you.
Seeking help from a therapist online can allow you to get the help that you need. You speak to them through text, video, or voice chat.
One website you can use is BetterHelp. They are an online therapy website that can connect you to a therapist who is best suited for your situation.
And of course, they have therapists who specialize in CBT and other techniques.
CBT is a valuable therapy technique that is seeing more and more popularity every year. It works well for most people, has little risk, and it should help with most of your problems.
If you aren't convinced, then you should talk to a therapist today and see if CBT is right for you. Chances are, it will be and you can begin your journey to treat your problems.
(Disclaimer: Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Devdiscourse's journalists were not involved in the production of this article. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Devdiscourse and Devdiscourse does not claim any responsibility for the same.)