Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapeutic approach established in the late 1950’s used to treat numerous mental health conditions, including substance abuse disorders (SUDs). CBT is designed to facilitate a beneficial alteration in behavioral patterns by identifying and repairing the maladaptive patterns of thought which precede.

More precisely, CBT focuses on psychosocial thought patterns, which are those that occur when individuals understand themselves in terms of their relation to other individuals, groups of people, or society as a whole.

The practice of CBT is considerably widespread among mental health professionals, and its success as a therapeutic modality is well-founded. Unlike some other forms of psychotherapy, CBT is employed as a short-term, goal-oriented treatment, with clients undergoing only about 10 to 20 sessions.

The number of sessions, however, varies for each case depending on which disorder is being treated, how challenging it proves to overcome symptoms, and how quickly the client progresses through each phase.

How Does Cognitive Behavioral Work?

Throughout each CBT session, the client works directly with a therapist to acquire the skills necessary to rectify their thought and behavioral patterns. More precisely, the therapist will present the client with a controlled series of questions to which the will react cognitively and emotionally.

The therapist then analyzes the reactions for significant problems or obstacles which can be addressed to promote healthy and gainful decision-making.

The Mayo Clinic claims that cognitive-behavioral therapy typically includes the following standard steps:

Identify troublesome life situations –Engaging with a therapist allows the individual to illuminate continuously burdensome situations in their life.

Become aware of thoughts, emotions, and beliefs that pertain to these situations – From the inside, an individual may intimately understand how they feel about a situation, but they are not always able to rationalize or understand everything surrounding it in a clear and practical manner.

Working with a therapist helps the individual to grasp the thoughts, emotions, and beliefs that arise when confronted with these situations.

Identify negative or faulty thoughts and beliefs –During CBT, the therapist helps the individual analyze the thought patterns that give rise to maladaptive behavioral patterns, making sure to focus in on the connection between the two and how all negative behaviors are caused by the corresponding negative thought patterns which precede them.

Reshape negative or faulty thoughts and beliefs – Once an individual has recognized the significance of negative and faulty thinking for their life and come to understand why it is faulty, they can begin to reform their thoughts, beliefs, and emotions as they pertain to situations encountered throughout life.

The overall goal of CBT is to help clients bring about positive life changes. If an individual is incessantly preoccupied with resentments they harbor toward their family, friends, or society, they will be dismayed at every turn they take.

As such, once an individual works with a mental health professional in a controlled setting, the individual can overcome the emotional barriers which keep them from a happy, fulfilling life.

Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT can, at first glance, appear highly specialized and only valid for instructing people to manage their emotions better. However, CBT consistently proves itself much more applicable that than, with studies indicating that CBT, when applied, produces favorable results in most psychological spheres. Those undergoing CBT benefit in manifold ways, including the following:

  • Competently attending to symptoms of mental illness
  • Understand and rectify mental illness when other medications aren’t available
  • Better manage physical symptoms and other medical illnesses
  • Manage or overcome trauma and trauma-related symptoms
  • Develop coping skills for stressful life situations
  • Cope with grief or loss
  • Improve communication skills
  • Identify new methods to regulate emotions
  • Mend interpersonal conflicts

CBT Practices

Outside of structured CBT therapy, an individual can and should remain active while in their own care. Structuring one’s daily life to be able to apply the skills learned in CBT increases the therapy’s efficacy. For this reason, CBT therapists often train the individual to self-administer specific techniques that reinforce the progress made in the therapy sessions, including the following:

  • Physical exercise
  • Mindfulness
  • Journal writing
  • Skepticism, or challenging long-held beliefs
  • Relaxation and breathing techniques

Recover Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

If you are struggling with a substance use disorder and mental health condition, you are likely familiar with the many challenges that individuals can face as a result of these problems.. In some cases, it can feel too overwhelming to even think about getting help. However, doing so can make life much easier and more enjoyable.

When you are ready to get the help that you deserve, please contact us right away. We are here to help you get through the difficult parts of recovery and also celebrate your successes. Get back on the path to living in peace and harmony!

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