Do you suffer from anxiety or depression? Have you struggled with substance abuse issues? Or are you having a hard time getting your mental health under control due to another problem?
There are lots of different types of therapy that might be able to help you achieve mental wellness. But one of your best therapy options may be cognitive behavioral therapy.
So, what is cognitive behavioral therapy? What principle underlies cognitive behavioral therapy? And how does cognitive behavioral therapy work?
Cognitive behavioral therapy has been referred to as the “gold standard of psychotherapy,” and once you learn more about it, it won’t be hard to see why. In this article, we’re going to explore the ins and outs of cognitive behavioral therapy so that you’re able to decide if it would be the right therapy option for you.
Continue reading to discover more about cognitive behavioral therapy.
What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of therapy that’s designed to help you change the way you think. If you find that you’re constantly being bombarded by negative thoughts that are leading to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues, you might be able to change this through the use of cognitive behavioral therapy.
Behavioral therapy, in general, dates back to about a century ago. But cognitive behavioral therapy was developed in the 1960s by American psychiatrist Aaron Beck.
Prior to that, Beck specialized mostly in psychoanalysis, which focuses on exploring a person’s deepest (and sometimes darkest) emotions and thoughts in an attempt to explain their conscious feelings. But he believed that cognitive behavioral therapy could be utilized to help people change negative thought patterns and, by extension, improve their mental health.
What Principle Underlies Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Even though cognitive behavioral therapy can sound very complicated in some regards, the principle that underlies it is actually very simple. so, what principle underlies cognitive behavioral therapy?
Well, Beck’s thinking was that all of the different behavioral and emotional reactions that a person has are learned. So he believed cognitive behavioral therapy could help people unlearn them and thereby improve their mental health.
There is a chance that someone going through cognitive behavioral therapy might talk about their past and how it has impacted them in the present. But more often than not, they’ll focus mostly on the emotions and events affecting them at the present time and work on changing them.
When they’re able to change these emotions and events, it could lead to healthier reactions to the things that happen to them. This can work wonders for their mental health and their mental wellness as a whole.
How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?
At first glance, you may be under the impression that cognitive behavioral therapy is going to work much differently than, say, psychoanalysis. But in reality, they’re both types of therapy that involve talk therapy.
If you decide to give cognitive behavioral therapy a try, you’ll work with a CBT specialist who will meet with you to talk about your life. During the course of your meetings with them, they’ll help you identify the different thought patterns you have and encourage you to analyze them both up close and from a distance.
By doing this, you’ll be able to get a better understanding of the connection that exists between your thought patterns and your actions. You’ll also get blueprints on how to deal with difficult situations that might arise in your life without falling back on negative thought patterns like you’ve done in the past.
Initially, you might struggle to move away from these thought patterns. But as time goes on, you’ll begin to gain confidence in your ability to overcome them. You’ll also be able to replace your old thought patterns with new ones that’ll have you facing stressful situations in a more relaxed way.
How Long Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Take?
One thing that many people have come to know and love about cognitive behavioral therapy is that it’s considered to be a short-term type of therapy. Unlike psychoanalysis which can take sometimes take years, most people will be able to work their way through cognitive behavioral therapy in under 6 months.
That being said, everyone is going to respond differently to cognitive behavioral therapy. Some people may need to continue to take part in cognitive behavioral therapy sessions for longer stretches of time than others.
Here are several factors that’ll impact how long cognitive behavioral therapy might take for you:
- Your mental health disorder
- The severity of the symptoms you’re experiencing
- The amount of time you’ve been dealing with your disorder
- Your commitment to cognitive behavioral therapy
- Your stress levels at this time
- The support you have surrounding you
Working with the right therapist can help you stay on the right track through cognitive behavioral therapy and allow you to finish your sessions in a timely fashion. They’ll get to work on figuring out what’s going on with you right away so that they can help you identify negative thought patterns and change them as soon as possible.
What Are the Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
As long as you commit to cognitive behavioral therapy, it should provide you with a whole host of benefits. First and foremost, it can alter the way you think on a daily basis in a positive way. Instead of flooding your brain with negative thoughts all the time, you’ll be able to replace these thoughts with more positive ones.
You’ll also be able to change the way you respond to difficult situations in life. If you’re ever faced with a financial problem, a health issue, or even something like a death in the family, you might find that it’ll be easier for you to deal with what’s going on. You’ll be a lot more rational in the moment and won’t always get too caught up in your emotions.
That isn’t to say you aren’t still going to be sad, angry, and upset in some instances. It’s perfectly okay to experience these types of emotions from time to time.
But you should find that you won’t be sad, angry, and upset in situations where these particular emotions aren’t called for. You’ll be able to remain more levelheaded as opposed to allowing your thoughts to take total control of your mind.
Who Should Consider Trying Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
One of the best parts about cognitive behavioral therapy is that it can be used to treat a wide range of different mental health issues. If you’ve been diagnosed with one or believe you might be suffering from one, there is a decent chance cognitive behavioral therapy could benefit you.
Here are a handful of mental health issues that can be treated with CBT:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Eating disorders
- Substance use disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- And more
You might also be able to use cognitive behavioral therapy to treat things like marital problems and even grief. It can help those who are dealing with any mental health issues that cause negative thought patterns in one way or another.
Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work for Everyone?
In a perfect world, everyone who gave cognitive behavioral therapy a try would find that it would work for them. But unfortunately, CBT isn’t going to be the answer to all mental health issues.
Studies have shown that many people will respond positively to cognitive behavioral therapy, though. If, for example, you’ve been diagnosed with social anxiety disorder, studies have suggested up to 75% of people might respond well to CBT.
This indicates it would be worth trying cognitive behavioral therapy to treat a mental health issue. If nothing else, it’ll let you know that you need to look elsewhere to get the results you’re looking for. There might be other types of therapy that could produce better results.
Who Can Provide Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
In recent years, cognitive behavioral therapy has become one of the most popular types of therapy available. As a result, many therapists are now capable of providing CBT to their patients.
But not every therapist will be cut out to provide CBT. For this reason, you’ll need to search specifically for therapists who can administer CBT treatment when you’re interested in putting it to the test. You should be able to locate at least a few therapists in your area who specialize in it.
Touch Base With Us to Take Advantage of Different Types of Therapy
Do you believe you might be able to benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy? The only way to find out for sure is to try CBT and see how your mind responds to it.
Therapie can set you up with the therapy options you need. We would be more than happy to tell you more about CBT and answer questions like, “What principle underlies cognitive behavioral therapy?”, further.
Schedule a free consultation with us to see if CBT would be the best option for you.