Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that can help people change their thinking, feelings, and behaviors. CBT helps people learn to recognize, challenge, and replace unhelpful thoughts with more helpful ones. One way this is done is by asking questions during the session aimed at helping individuals identify unhelpful patterns of thoughts associated with particular concerns. In addition, CBT therapists may ask individuals to make changes in how they use their time or talk about themselves or others while engaging in activities such as problem-solving or decision-making.
How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Helps People
CBT can reduce symptoms of anxiety and improve mood in many individuals suffering from depression and those with mild to moderate anxiety disorders. It can also be useful in managing insomnia, phobias, panic attacks, and binge eating issues. In addition, CBT can help individuals achieve greater independence at work or home and improve the quality of relationships.
CBT helps people learn about their problems and thus increase the self-efficacy to handle them. CBT can also help stop symptoms from reappearing after an initial improvement. Additionally, CBT helps people learn new skills that can be used both during and after the end of treatment, even if the individual does not have any more contact with a therapist.
Different Health Conditions CBT Treats
Anxiety- CBT reduces symptoms of anxiety and improves mood in many individuals suffering from depression and those with mild to moderate anxiety disorders.
Depression- CBT is often effective in treating depression. It helps improve mood and reduce symptoms, such as sleep or appetite disturbance.
Chronic Pain- CBT helps reduce pain, improve functioning, and reduce recurrence.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)- CBT effectively reduces symptoms of GAD by helping clients identify worry and avoidance behaviors that contribute to their distress, practice new problem-solving techniques, learn how to tolerate distress (coming up with alternative ways to cope with upsetting situations), and develop a more realistic view of the future.
Eating Disorders- CBT can help individuals with bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and other eating disorders gain control over their behaviors by identifying specific thought patterns that lead to unhealthy eating habits, learning how to set realistic goals regarding food and weight, making lifestyle changes (to help reduce unhealthy behaviors) and gaining control over emotions (to avoid acting on impulse).
Benefits Of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Offers more control to individuals than in other kinds of therapy and exercises greater independence from the therapist after treatment
- Stresses the importance of self-help and individual responsibility for change, encouraging patients to continue to work with their therapist after treatment and to monitor how well they are doing on their own.
- Helps people identify unhelpful patterns of thoughts associated with particular concerns.
- Helps people change how they use their time or talk about themselves or others while they are engaged in activities such as problem-solving or decision-making.
- Provides tools to help clients change unwanted behaviors and helps them begin to live more fulfilling lives.
CBT effectively treats a wide spectrum of mental disorders, including depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and social phobia. CBT can also be helpful in the management of insomnia, phobias, panic attacks, and binge eating.