Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps you identify and modify unhelpful thought patterns that contribute to addiction, as well as developing problem-solving techniques to handle difficult situations more effectively.
CBT may be administered by licensed therapists, psychologists and other mental health professionals either directly in individual sessions or through group therapy sessions; it can also be performed on one’s own using books and online programs, so read on and learn what this common practice can potentially do for you or a loved one.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (www.helpguide.org/cognitive-behavioral-therapy) can be a helpful solution to many mental health challenges. Your therapist will work with you to identify and change maladaptive thought patterns, so you can respond more productively when faced with difficult situations. CBT is often used for depression, anxiety, relationship problems and other concerns; medication may also be combined with it as needed.
Psychologists, psychiatrists, GPs with training in mental health issues, mental health nurses or counselors may offer CBT treatments; certain conditions may allow access under Medicare rebate schemes.
Your sessions typically last one hour once every week, with possible homework assigned between sessions depending on the severity of your condition and treatment duration (up to 20 sessions can sometimes be necessary for lasting effects to manifest), though many individuals continue benefiting even after this treatment is completed.
CBT centers on the principle that thoughts, feelings and behaviors are interconnected. Good CBT counselling can help remove negative thoughts which contribute to emotional distress as well as leading to undesirable or harmful behaviors – like avoiding certain situations or activities altogether. But therapy provides hope that such patterns can be changed!
CBT therapy sessions often include filling out questionnaires and keeping records of thoughts and symptoms, in order to help identify areas needing additional focus. When answering these questions it’s important to be completely truthful, but also remember that your therapist won’t judge you for sharing any difficult or distressing emotions or topics.
As part of your assessment process, you may be required to keep a ‘thought record’ wherein you record any automatic thoughts that arise during daily life, associated emotions and outcomes as a result. This can provide valuable insight into how distorting and unhelpful certain of our thoughts can be.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be an invaluable aid to helping you overcome unhelpful thoughts and feelings by altering how you view challenging life events. This form of psychotherapy may also be combined with other treatments for mental health conditions like depression and anxiety to provide instantaneous improvements to quality of life.
CBT differs from other forms of psychotherapy in that its techniques are designed to be quick and effective solutions, helping most people in an extremely short amount of time. As well as teaching practical self-help strategies and helping identify and challenge unhealthy or unrealistic thinking patterns.
These unhelpful patterns of thinking, commonly referred to as cognitive distortions, include all-or-nothing thinking (seen things as either/or), catastrophizing (which you can learn about here) and personalizing everything that happens to us. CBT can help identify these ways of viewing life as distortions and teach you to observe, challenge, and replace them with more helpful beliefs.
Counseling is grounded on the belief that thoughts and emotions have an influence over behavior. Negative or inaccurate thoughts may create emotional distress which then manifests into unhealthy habits or behaviors that need changing; your therapist will work with you to identify any such behaviors and help find practical ways of altering them.
Your therapist will ask you to pay close attention to what’s happening with your body, mind, emotions and relationships – as well as their effects. He or she may encourage you to challenge any thoughts that don’t serve you in feeling better – until new patterns of thought become automatic and no longer cause you distress.
Change can be challenging when your behavior has become an unconscious habit that’s been established over time. Your therapist will teach strategies for breaking this pattern such as problem-solving skills and ways to relax the body. They may even ask you to participate in a behavioral experiment where they set you a goal to try something different while monitoring its outcomes.