Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is built on the principle that thinking negative thoughts leads to negative emotions, which can culminate in self-destructive behavior. Before you can change your behavior, you have to change your emotions and to change your emotions, you have to change the way you think. Learning to use this form of therapy entails learning to stop automatically believing every single thing that you think.
It’s important to accept that your thoughts are not synonymous with reality. They occur in your head, not out in the world. It’s worth considering that many of your negative thoughts might not even be true. All the thoughts that lead to anxiety, depression, and stress exist entirely in your mind and nowhere else. While it may take time and effort, regularly practicing CBT can change the way you think overall. Getting help from a professional can allow you to navigate that change with confidence, resulting in changing your feelings and ultimately giving you greater control over your actions.
This method of therapy works to change your thought process and adjust the thought pathways in your brain by replacing your negative thoughts with positive thoughts. People typically spend their first sessions with a therapist to identify their unique needs and set goals to meet their needs. After you identify your problems, the next step is to accept them as temporary obstacles to prepare your mind for positive change. Although you will learn a great deal in therapy, most of the work has to be done outside of therapy as you work to apply what you have learned in real-life scenarios.
If that sounds like therapy with homework, you’re correct — there is some real-world work involved with CBT. Using your knowledge throughout your week can noticeably reduce your symptoms while you’re out living life. It’s easy to learn and discuss what you need to do while in therapy; it’s much more important to use what you learned in an uncontrolled environment. Your homework might include exercises designed to help you relax, journal, complete worksheets that promote growth, and read books relevant to your circumstances.
CBT can be used to treat depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction, substance abuse, and phobias. Some people have also used this method to address eating disorders, smoking, insomnia, chronic pain, attention deficit disorder, and panic attacks.
One disorder that doesn’t tend to respond well to CBT is severe depression due to the amount of participation it may require. Ultimately, this method of treatment is highly versatile. It works well for all ages, especially when accompanied by medication. CBT is so flexible that it can even be done over the phone, allowing you to still participate even if you cannot or don’t want to leave your home.
CBT has been the subject of extensive research confirming its effectiveness, which has contributed to its widespread popularity. As a form of therapy, it can be brief, direct, and solution-oriented, making it easy to test for success. CBT produces clear, measurable changes in people’s thoughts and behavior, and researchers support its use across the board.
This method is beneficial for easing people into facing their anxieties or mental challenges head-on. Anxiety patients tend to find that using CBT allows them to discuss their triggers openly. Its techniques can give you the power to go out into the world, keep tabs on the things that hold you back, and learn how to combat them. Perhaps most valuable of all, some patients see results after only a short time using CBT.
If you prefer a gentler approach to therapy and would like to go over nostalgic topics, dreams, or relationships with your therapist, CBT might not meet your needs. CBT is a straightforward and practical method of therapy. You might want to explore other options if you are more interested in achieving more general growth through a long-term relationship with your therapist. Instead of only focusing on the deeper roots of your issues, CBT puts a heavy focus on addressing the actual symptoms.
Overall, you should search for whichever form of treatment or care works best for you at this time in your life. It can take a lot of trial and error to learn what sort of assistance you need. Talk honestly with your therapist about what you are looking for, and they will be able to help you find the right approach to meet your needs. Whether or not CBT ends up being the solution, all that matters is that you get the most helpful treatment possible.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy has proven to be highly effective in treating multiple different mental disorders. If you are struggling with a mental health concern and are interested in finding a more direct approach to addressing your symptoms, consider trying CBT. Popular among patients and researchers alike, this treatment may be the key to unlocking your problems. For best results, get in touch with professional assistance. At Kimberly Center in Fort Myers, Florida, we know the importance of having access to effective treatment that meets your unique needs. Our expert staff provides treatment using CBT and a wide variety of other forms of treatments and therapies. If you or a loved one are battling substance abuse, anxiety, depression, or any other mental disorder, reach out to us to get started in overcoming your symptoms and regaining control of your life. You don’t have to face your challenges alone. Contact us at (855)-452-3683 to learn more.