Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common form of psychotherapy (talk therapy). It’s a structured short-term program. While in a cognitive-behavioral therapy program, people become aware of negative thoughts and behaviors. CBT techniques for anxiety will be different than CBT for alcoholism. Also, CBT for schizophrenia is different than CBT for depression. As a result, people can respond more effectively.
CBT helps treat mental disorders as well as substance use disorder (SUD). Mental disorders include anxiety, schizophrenia, and depression. But, CBT isn’t just for those with mental illness. People who suffer from alcoholism and drug addiction also benefit from CBT.
CBT is talk therapy to help people learn to identify and change harmful thought patterns. Harmful thoughts lead to negative behaviors and emotions. CBT’s focus is on changing harmful thoughts to objective, realistic thoughts.
CBT focuses on present issues and emotions. Therapists will ask about family history but will not ask much about past problems. Instead, the emphasis is on how thoughts can result in anxiety or other mental illnesses.
CBT treats a wide range of emotional issues. Because of this, it’s usually the preferred type of therapy. It quickly helps people identify and cope with specific problems. People also attend fewer sessions than in other treatments.
CBT may help:
Mental disorders that may benefit from CBT include:
When CBT is combined with medications, that’s when it’s most effective.
Generally, CBT is not risky. But, it will make a person emotionally uncomfortable. It’s emotional because CBT explores painful emotions and experiences. People may feel angry or sad during therapy while some feel emotionally drained.
Some types of CBT, such as exposure therapy, may require facing fears and situations. While sessions like these can be stressful and cause anxiety, it is a temporary feeling. Besides, working with a therapist helps manage feelings and fears increasing Recovery for Life.
The key idea behind CBT is, thought patterns affect emotions. And in turn, emotions affect behaviors. For example, CBT believes adjusting negative thoughts leads to positive feelings and actions.
A cognitive-behavioral therapy program includes a range of techniques to address thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Techniques range from structured therapy to self-help books. Specific types of therapies involving CBT include the following.
Cognitive therapy focuses on present thoughts, responses, and behaviors. The focus is on being aware of how they influence each other.
DBT helps with controlling emotions and being mindful. There are four main goals of DBT. They are living in the moment, good coping skills, regulating emotions, and improving relationships.
Multimodal therapy focuses on seven interconnected modalities. They are behavior, affect, sensation, imagery, cognition, interpersonal factors, and drug/biological factors.
REBT involves identifying and challenging irrational beliefs. Most people are not aware of just how deep irrational beliefs affect daily life. As a result, self-acceptance is the goal of REBT.
While a cognitive-behavioral therapy program treats a variety of mental issues, it’s incredibly useful for anxiety. CBT is the “gold standard” in anxiety treatments. Anxiety disorders cause excessive worry and nervousness that disrupts daily lives.
CBT techniques for anxiety helps people replace negative beliefs with realistic views. CBT techniques for anxiety help with many issues, including:
CBT techniques for anxiety include cognitive restructuring and exposure therapy. Cognitive restructuring reduces the intensity of anxiety. Exposure therapy uses skills learned in cognitive restructuring to face fears. Exposure therapy in CBT techniques for anxiety has exceptionally high success rates.
There are 15 million Americans with alcoholism. CBT for alcoholism is successful in treating alcohol use disorder (AUD). The theory behind CBT for alcoholism is manipulative behaviors come from learned beliefs and coping skills.
In CBT for alcoholism, therapists help people change their behavior response to harmful thoughts and emotions. By focusing on how behaviors affect relationships, jobs, and health, people learn to adjust. Therapists in a cognitive-behavioral therapy program help manage cravings and chose healthy behaviors instead.
CBT for schizophrenia teaches people to change beliefs and behaviors that lead to negative emotions. CBT for schizophrenia also teaches coping skills to manage situations. Therapists teach those in a cognitive-behavioral therapy program how to test their reality, ignore any voices, and manage symptoms.
CBT for schizophrenia also helps:
CBT for depression helps people change their attitude about themselves. Therapists in a cognitive-behavioral therapy program help identify harmful reoccurring thoughts. Thoughts such as, “ Why get out of bed?” or “I’m worthless anyway.”
CBT for depression brings awareness of how thoughts affect behaviors. This allows people to change their thinking. Long-term chronic CBT for depression manages symptoms and encourages Recovery for Life.
A cognitive-behavioral therapy program is done in individual and group therapy sessions. Also, a cognitive-behavioral therapy program is sometimes available. CBT teaches people about their mental illness. People also learn and practice relaxation, coping skills, stress management, and assertiveness.
In the first session, a therapist will ask about past and present health issues. Knowing any mental or physical problems help a therapist design a cognitive-behavioral therapy program. Other therapies or medications may be part of a “whole person” cognitive-behavioral therapy program.
It may take a few sessions for people to feel comfortable with their therapist. They are also the time to ask the following things:
If a person isn’t comfortable, they need to ask for someone different. A therapist will not take offense. Having a good relationship with the therapist is vital to an effective cognitive-behavioral therapy program.
In CBT, therapists encourage talking about thoughts and feelings. Some people find it hard to open up. But, therapists help people gain more confidence and comfort.
CBT focuses on specific issues with goal-oriented approaches. Therapists may give homework. As well as encourage applying learned skills in daily life.
A cognitive-behavioral therapy program is individualized to fit a person’s needs. CBT techniques for anxiety will be different than CBT for alcoholism. Also, CBT for schizophrenia is different than CBT for depression.
A cognitive-behavioral therapy program generally includes these steps:
Long-standing beliefs and thinking patterns can make CBT challenging. But, with practice, mindfulness and behavior changes will become a habit.
A cognitive-behavioral program is a short-term treatment. CBT can be 5 to 20 sessions. The length of CBT varies depending on many factors. One factor is mental illness diagnosis. CBT techniques for anxiety will be different than CBT for depression. In addition, CBT for schizophrenia is different than CBT for alcoholism.
Other factors include:
Conversations with a therapist in CBT or any therapy is confidential. Except in very specific cases. An immediate threat is an exception. Other situations include:
CBT will not cure mental illness. But it can give people the power to cope. The results of CBT have people feeling better about themselves and their life.
But, CBT doesn’t work if a person doesn’t try. Taking the following steps will help get the most out of a cognitive-behavioral therapy program.
At Sana Lake BWC, our cognitive-behavioral therapy program is part of our “whole person” approach to recovery. CBT techniques for anxiety as well as CBT for alcoholism in combination with holistic therapies increase recovery rates. In addition, CBT for schizophrenia and CBT for depression in combination with medication management reduces symptoms and encourages Recovery for Life.
People with mental illness often suffer alone. Reach out, our caring trained professionals are waiting to listen. Whether you need urgent care because dark thoughts are creeping in, or a loved one is suffering an addiction, we can help. Contact us today and find out how “whole person” treatment at Sana Lake BWC results in Recovery for LIfe!