Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: What Is It and What Can You Expect?

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, is a type of psychotherapy that has grown in popularity in recent years. Many treatment centers have developed different types of rehabilitation throughout the years, and CBT is recognized as one of the most effective. CBT is founded on the premise that our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are all linked and influence one another. CBT involves two steps: the first step is to identify and challenge negative or problematic patterns of thought and behavior. The second step is to replace negative or problematic thoughts and behavior with positive, constructive ones.

Research has shown that CBT is useful for teaching people how to deal with stressful events and respond positively rather than negatively. Continue reading here to learn more about CBT and how it can be used as an effective therapy in treating addiction.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a type of psychological treatment that is helpful for a variety of issues, including substance abuse issues, marital problems, eating disorders, and severe mental diseases, like depression. Many research studies have shown that CBT dramatically improves functionality and quality of life. The results of several trials have demonstrated that CBT is just as effective, if not more effective, in treating addiction as other psychological treatments or psychiatric drugs.

CBT has regularly been proven in studies to provide considerable and long-term symptom reductions, with remission rates ranging from 40-70% for depression and 50-80% for anxiety disorders. Furthermore, the effects of CBT tend to be long-lasting, with the majority of people having a considerable reduction in symptoms following therapy and retaining those gains over time.

CBT’s Fundamental Concepts

CBT is predicated on the notion that your ideas, emotions, and behaviors are all linked. In other words, your thoughts and feelings influence your actions/behavior. Another essential premise of CBT is that an individual’s thought and behavior patterns may be altered in times of stress, and CBT’s job is to replace those negative thoughts and behaviors with positive ones.

The following are the main concepts of CBT, according to the American Psychological Association:

  • Unhelpful patterns of thinking are at the root of several psychological disorders.
  • Psychological disorders are primarily dependent on learned behavioral habits.
  • Those suffering from these disorders can benefit from improved coping methods and treatment to help alleviate their symptoms.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Techniques

CBT includes a variety of strategies for dealing with thoughts, emotions, and actions. Structured psychotherapies and self-help activities are examples of this. The cognitive behavioral approach is used in a variety of treatment techniques, including:

  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) targets damaging or unsettling ideas and behaviors using treatment tools such as emotional regulation and mindfulness.
  • Multimodal treatment addresses psychological concerns through seven clear and interrelated modalities.
  • Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) teaches patients how to identify illogical thoughts, aggressively question these thoughts, and learn to recognize and modify these thoughts in the future.

Why use CBT?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is used to address a variety of problems. It is frequently the favored method of psychotherapy since it can help you swiftly recognize and cope with specific difficulties. CBT usually takes fewer sessions than other forms of treatment and is more regimented.

CBT is a suitable method for dealing with emotional issues when:

  • Trying to control mental illness symptoms
  • Preventing the recurrence of mental disease symptoms.
  • Drugs are not an option for treating a mental disorder
  • Learning how to deal with challenging events in your life.
  • Learning how to regulate your emotions.
  • Resolving relationship issues and improving your communication skills.
  • Coping with grief or loss
  • Resolving emotional pain caused by abuse or violence
  • Dealing with a medical condition
  • Controlling chronic physical problems

CBT may help with the following mental health issues:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety problems
  • Phobias
  • PTSD
  • Sleep problems
  • Eating problems
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Substance abuse problems
  • Bipolar illness
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sexual dysfunctions

What Generally Happens During CBT Sessions

CBT treatment typically lasts between 6 and 20 sessions, with each session lasting 30 to 60 minutes. During the sessions, you and your cognitive behavioral therapist will work together to breakdown your issues into components, such as your ideas, bodily sensations, and behaviors. These components will be examined to see if they are unrealistic or harmful and how they affect others and yourself.

After determining what you can change, your therapist will ask you to put these adjustments into practice in your everyday life, and together you will discuss how you did in the following session.

The ultimate goal of therapy is to educate you on how to implement the skills you learned throughout CBT treatment in your daily life. This should help you manage your difficulties and prevent them from negatively impacting your life even after completing your therapy.

Considerations for CBT

Here are a few of the common difficulties encountered by people undergoing CBT therapy.

CBT is highly structured.

CBT involves changing negative behavior that triggers addiction, and replacing it with positive, healthy behavior. However, CBT does not address the underlying unconscious resistance to change as psychoanalytic psychotherapy does but instead relies on a structural approach. CBT is an organized approach that may not be ideal for people who struggle with structure.

You must be open to change.

To be effective, CBT requires you to be ready and prepared to invest time and effort in studying your ideas and feelings. This self-analysis can be challenging, but it is an excellent approach to understanding how our interior emotions influence our behavior and physical actions.

Progress is frequently gradual.

In most circumstances, CBT is a progressive procedure that helps you take small progressive steps toward changing your negative behavior. For example, someone suffering from social anxiety may begin by picturing anxiety-inducing social settings, then move on to practicing talking with friends, family, and strangers. By gradually working toward a more significant objective, the process appears less frightening, and the goals seem more achievable.

Key Takeaway

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a very successful and evidence-based style of psychotherapy that assists people in overcoming various mental health issues and teaches them how to change their behavior. CBT advantages go beyond symptom reduction since therapy teaches patients essential coping skills and self-help tactics they may use in their everyday lives.

Take the first step to long-term recovery.

At Haven House Recovery, we understand the difficulties associated with addiction and the need for evidence-based treatment approaches. Our skilled staff are committed to assisting clients in overcoming addiction and achieving long-term recovery.

If you or someone you love is looking for a top-notch center focusing on drug and alcohol rehab in Murfreesboro, TN, Haven House Recovery is the place to go. We specialize in a 12-step, Christian-based program that can assist you in achieving recovery. Call us and let’s discuss how we can help you.