Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – Benefits, Effects and Steps
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment approach for a range of mental and emotional health issues including depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. CBT aims to help a person identify and challenge negative thoughts and to learn practical strategies. These strategies are designed to bring about positive and immediate changes in the person’s quality of life.
Who can benefit from CBT?
CBT is used to treat a range of psychological problems including:
- Anxiety Disorder, such as social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder
- Low self-esteem
- Uncontrollable anger
- Irrational Fears
- Addictions, such as smoking, drinking or other drugs
- Eating Disorders
How effective is CBT?
- It is one of the most effective treatments for conditions where anxiety or depression is the main problem.
- It is the most effective psychological treatment for moderate and severe depression.
- It is as effective as antidepressants for many types of depression.
Steps in CBT
Identify troubling situations or conditions in your life.
These may include issues such as a medical condition, divorce, grief, anger or symptoms of a mental illness.
Become aware of your thoughts, emotions, and beliefs about these problems.
This may include observing what you tell yourself about an experience (self-talk), your interpretation of the meaning of a situation, and your beliefs about yourself, other people and events.
Identify negative or inaccurate thinking.
To help you recognize patterns of thinking and behavior that may be contributing to your problem, you may be asked to pay attention to your physical, emotional and behavioral responses in different situations.
Reshape negative or inaccurate thinking.
You will be encouraged to ask yourself whether your view of a situation is based on the facts or on an inaccurate perception of what going on. You may have long-standing ways of thinking about your life and yourself. With practice, helpful thinking and behavior patterns will become a habit and won’t take as much effort.