An Overview of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
In this article, we will give an overview of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, such as how is it work, is it really work, etc.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is basically the systematic application of learning principles to the analysis and treatment of behavior disorders. Behavioral therapies focus directly on incompatible behaviors. In this treatment, the patient learns to cope with anxiety and problems instead of avoiding them.
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a type of psychotherapy. It has developed through analyzing human behavior and emotions. It’s fully scientific so it has been proven to be effective in many psychiatric disorders.
According to cognitive theory, childhood experiences lead to the formation of some basic thoughts, assumptions, and belief systems through learning. These basic ideas and beliefs are called schemes. These schemes are rigid thought patterns and are used to shape individuals’ perceptions of themselves and later in life. Psychiatric disorders develop after a life event that supports the basic thoughts in the content of these negative patterns that the individual is not consciously aware of.
What is the Underlying Theory of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is based on a cognitive model. So we see things not as they are, but as how we perceive them. For example, when we read this article, we subject it to an assessment and interpretation. Suppose someone who reads this article thinks “Nice! This is exactly the type of treatment I’m looking for.” This person will feel happy and enthusiastic. On the other hand, another person reads and goes “It looks fine, but it won’t work on me.” This person is pessimistic and reluctant.
Every person who reads this article makes an evaluation and interpretation. And it affects the resulting emotion and behavior accordingly. In other words, one’s emotional reaction is not directly influenced by the situation but by their thoughts about the situation. People cannot think clearly when they are under pressure, and their thoughts become distorted.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps people identify their distressing thoughts and examine how realistic they are. Then one feels better when they learn to change the distorted thoughts and begin to think in accordance with reality. Problem-solving and behavioral change are the fundamental elements of the therapy.
How Does Therapy Work?
In the treatment, the consultant and the therapist cooperate to understand problems between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This approach usually focuses on the current problems that cause distress in the person. The life-limiting effects of various diseases are determined with the patient. With therapy, these negative limiting effects decreases. In this approach, the duration of treatment is very short.
During therapy, the consultant talks about the issue or issues that have happened recently. Then therapist validates the opinions or brings a new perspective. The therapist also teaches new skills in this way. After discussing how to make the most of what you learned during the session in the next week, the therapist asks for feedback. ”Did you learn anything useful or did you feel uncomfortable during the session?” Is there something that the therapist misunderstood or is there something you want to change?
As you can see, cognitive therapy is a type of therapy in which both the therapist and the consultant are very active.
How Long Does the Therapy Last?
Aside from a number of practical mandatory situations (such as the possibility of coming to therapy for a certain period of time), the therapist and client determine how long the therapy will last. Generally, after 2-3 sessions, the therapist has a rough idea of the required time for achieving the goal that was set in the first session. For some clients, 6-10 interviews are sufficient.
While some clients may choose to stay in therapy for months or even a year. The client initially receives therapy once a week unless there is a severe crisis. As soon as the person starts to feel better, they may visit less firstly every 15 days and then every three weeks, the negotiations are gradually sparse. This gives you the chance to practice the skills learned in therapy in everyday life.
How Do I Know If Therapy Works?
Many clients continue to rely on the sessions, but if they use the recommended techniques every day out of the session, they begin to notice a decrease in their symptoms after 4-5 sessions. At the same time, psychological tests performed objectively fall within a few weeks. To sum it up, the person starts to feel better.
Does it Really Work ?
The use of cognitive-behavioral therapy in children and adolescents has also yielded very good results.
Scientific data are available to demonstrate the effectiveness of this type of therapy. These data show that cognitive-behavioral therapy is effective in the treatment of the following common psychiatric disorders:
- Anxiety disorders
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Panic disorder
- Posttraumatic stress disorder
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Sexual dysfunctions
- Couple treatments and family therapies
- Alcohol and substance addiction
- Eating disorders
- Somatoform disorders
- Social phobia
- Specific phobias
- Eating disorders
Also, it has been mentioned that CBT has contributed in the treatment of :
- Bipolar disorder
- Anger management
- Personality disorders
- Pain control
- Sleeping disorders