What You Need to Know About CBT Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a specific form of therapy that can help to change behavior and thought patterns using various techniques. A therapist might incorporate CBT therapy into a session in addition to other forms of therapy. Alternatively, a therapy session might only include CBT therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy is commonly used to treat patients who have been diagnosed with depression or anxiety, but it can also be used for a number of mental and physical health issues.
How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Works
This type of therapy is based on a psychological concept in that everything a person feels and experiences is connected. For example, physical sensations and actions, your thoughts, and feelings. When a person experiences negative thoughts or feelings, they may end up in a circle that can quickly spiral downwards.
Guided by a trained Palatine, IL therapist, CBT therapy will help you to address and deal with unhealthy thought patterns by breaking them down into small parts. Over time you will learn how to change these patterns; thereby, improve your mental and emotional wellbeing.
It should be noted that this form of therapy generally deals with your current mind state and issues. It doesn’t focus on your past. Because many people’s problems can be linked to a past experience, your therapist might incorporate other forms of therapeutic techniques into the sessions.
What Can CBT Therapy Treat
Cognitive behavioral therapy has effectively treated a broad range of conditions including:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Marital problems
- Panic disorder
- Insomnia and other sleeping disorders
- CBT therapy has also been used to help people with:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Chronic fatigue disorder
- Alcohol and drug abuse/addiction
What May Happen During a CBT Therapy Session
If your therapist or doctor recommends CBT therapy, you will likely have a session once a week or every other week for two to six months or more. Most sessions last between 45 and 60 minutes. In a session, your therapist will discuss recent events and any associated feelings. Together you will identify issues and break them into individual parts that may include:
- How you felt
- What you thought
- How you physically reacted
- What actions you engaged in
Each of these elements will be analyzed to see how unhelpful they might have been. You’ll also try to determine the effect they had on you or others around you. Once this has been completed, your therapist will teach you how to eliminate these patterns and replace them with healthier ones. You will be asked to practice these changes and then discuss how this went in your next session. The goal is to teach you to how to apply everything you have learned in your CBT session into your daily life.
Overall Benefits of CBT Therapy
- You can learn how to recognize distorted thought patterns
- Use problem-solving skills to cope with challenging situations
- Learn to develop self-confidence
- Begin to face your fears rather than run from them
- Learn to relax and calm the body