Cognitive behavioral therapy has been proven by research to be among the top forms of therapy. It not only deals with a wide variety of conditions, but is also incredibly effective. Hence, it is often the first form of therapy intervention sought by those in need of help.
CBT is effective due to a number of reasons. First of all, it takes on a goal-oriented approach. Secondly, it focuses on past behavioral and thought patterns and seeks to connect them to the present.
This way, the therapist is able to equip the patient psychologically and practically. It’s no surprise that it has long term benefits to the patient. If you or someone else might be in need of such benefits, you should consider Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
This therapy involves undergoing a period of counselling with a special focus on your thoughts and feelings. The information provided below should answer most of your questions.
What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be considered a form of addiction treatment. It can also be categorized as a psychotherapeutic treatment. Its purpose is to help the patient identify certain thought patterns that encourage negative behavior.
Biofeedback therapy seeks to connect the mind to the body. Cognitive Behavioral therapy seeks to connect thoughts and emotions to our actions. Once these negative thoughts and emotions are identified, the counsellor works to replace them.
How Does It Work?
This form of therapy will have the patient meeting a trained professional for a certain period. The initial sessions will identify the negative thoughts, then to deal with said thoughts. You will be taught certain techniques that are crucial in helping change your thought patterns.
You also have the choice of attending such sessions with a group of people facing a similar problem. It all depends on what you’re most comfortable with. Below we take a more detailed look at the approach taken during the therapy program.
During a counselling session, the counsellor works to identify negative thoughts that influence behavior. For instance, let’s say that one keeps thinking about a fire outbreak caused by an electrical device. Then that person will avoid using any electrical devices.
Many people struggle with feelings and thoughts of low self-worth or low self-esteem. Some may even be struggling with the loss of a loved one or a difficult memory. To deal with such thoughts and feelings, they turn to drugs and/or alcohol.
Therefore, there is a direct correlation between thought patterns and behaviors. This is especially true if the patient has had a negative experience to reinforce those thoughts. The therapy under discussion helps identify those thoughts and develop strategies to manage and replace them.
To replace negative thoughts, the addict is urged to use taught techniques to conjure up positive thoughts.
What Techniques Are Used During Therapy?
Below are the techniques used in this therapy:
- Cognitive Restructuring: Here, the patient is asked to disclose their negative thoughts and the cause behind them. This will help guide you and the therapist towards restructuring your thought process. The goal is to help you as the patient learns how to think more positively.
- Exposure Therapy: This therapy exposes the patient to their fears. The counsellor/ therapist then teaches the patient how to deal with those fears.
- Scheduling your Activities
- Behavioral Experiments
- Breaking down tasks so that they are more achievable and easier to approach
- Techniques to help reduce stress
- Guided Discovery: This is where you explain your thoughts and fears to the therapists and back them up with evidence. The therapist will then challenge your thoughts and introduce you to better viewpoints.
- Role-Playing: This is where you are required to play-act certain situations out as well as your responses. Doing this will help reduce the amount of fear or control a certain situation has over you.
Can This Therapy Be Used For Addiction Treatment Only?
No, Cognitive Behavioral therapy can be used to treat other conditions such as:
- Eating Disorders
- Various Phobias
- Chronic Pain
- Sexual Disorders
- Panic Attacks
- Personality Disorders
- Depression, etc
Is This Therapy Risky?
No, the therapy is not risky in any way. It is good to note that some techniques used will have the patient exposed to their fears and memories. This can increase stress levels, but as a result, can help one learn how to deal with them.
Some patients find it difficult and stressful at the beginning of the therapy sessions. One does get used to it over time, and recovers from the influence their thoughts have over them.
What Are The Benefits Of The Therapy?
Yes, the therapy under discussion can benefit the patient tremendously. Below are benefits patients should expect to gain:
- It encourages the patient to start thinking positively and have control over negative thoughts
- Can help ease emotional stress
- Equips patients with coping strategies that can help one lead a more successful life.
- It is an affordable choice of therapy as compared to some. Hence, it is readily available to people
- One will learn how to cope with grief and mend broken relationships