This article covers everything about cognitive-behavioral therapy and why you would need it. Our main focus is why you would need it. We will, however, look at what it is, how it will work on you, where to find it, and any other necessary information.
What is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy?
It is a field or process that emphasizes:
- How you look at the world, yourself, and your environment (the environment includes other people, where you live, and who you associate with)
- How your actions affect your feelings and affect what you are going to think about next
What you do and how you think can be positively transformed by CBT. By "positive" we mean your current situation can be made better by exercising this therapy. Unlike any other therapy, CBT focuses on current problems and solves real time situations. It does not focus on the history of your challenges. It deals uniquely with ways to make you and your situation better.
As much as CBT uses a number of cognitive and behavioral techniques, it is not defined by them. It can be very effective in problem-solving, and its ideas have been borrowed from other disciplines in the field, such as:
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Acceptance and commitment therapy
- Compassion focused therapy
- Solution focused therapy
- Positive psychology
- Gestalt therapy
- Interpersonal psychotherapy
- Psychodynamic psychotherapy (where personality disorders are involved)
What types of problems are solved using CBT?
CBT is used to solve several challenges or situations, including:
iii. Various phobias
v. Obsession disorders
vii. Post traumatic stress
viii. Bipolar disorder
In some cases, if you have anger management issues, low self-esteem, and some physical health issues, you may need CBT.
How CBT works on you
CBT has several elements that, if you break them down, you will always make sense of different types of challenges and emotional situations. These elements are:
- Your real-time situation
- Your thoughts
- Your emotions
- Your feelings
- Your actions
Each of the above-mentioned elements interconnect with the others. They are also dependent on each other. These elements are helpful in reacting to events of life; depending on your thinking, these elements may be useful or not useful.
Consider the following.
Your Situation: Your day wasn’t so good. Work did not go very well, and you are bored, so you feel annoyed over nothing in particular. You decide to take an evening walk after work. As you stroll, you notice that someone you know did not even see you or maybe ignored you. You start thinking about the following:
How you are thinking:
He/she ignored you.
He/she doesn’t look usual; is he/she okay?
Feeling down and unwanted
Feeling concerned for him/her
Your physical reaction:
Nausea, red face, feeling tired
No hard physical feelings
Close yourself up in a room
Try to find out if the person is okay
You notice it is the same situation, but a situation like this would need CBT to help you understand the two big differences between your reactions.
Your thinking affected your emotions, your physical reactions, and your action. This may leave you in the following situation:
- Feeling uncomfortable
- Feeling worse because of your actions
If you interact with other people, you will feel much better than if you go home and sit by yourself feeling sorry, which can actually worsen your situation.
If you don’t interact with the other parties, you may have a very negative perception of what they think about you, which may be totally imaginary and false. This happens because the stress clouds your mind, and you start thinking in a very unhelpful way. You need CBT to help you think independently, and you will gain from useful thinking, behavior, and actions. This will help you feel positive. You will be able to take your own actions and face your challenges.
What is the CBT impact in the life of a patient?
Depression and anxiety are actually very dangerous in a person’s health and daily performance. Depression and anxiety can be controlled. When you use CBT, you are likely to have positive influence, and the negativity is not likely to affect you.
How to start CBT
- When you speak to your doctor, they will connect you to a CBT professional who may either be a nurse, a psychiatrist, or a psycologist.
- There are several CBT professionals advertising online.
- You can also try joining internet programs. You may use a handbook guide, and nowadays there are also CBT application programs. All these programs are provided by professionals and may make a big impact on you and your challenges.
In case you don’t have CBT, you will most probably have to:
- Be patient and see if you get better; in case you don’t get better, you can seek therapy.
- Look for CBT replacement if you don’t like it. Discuss this with your doctor.
- Research alternatives to CBT.
- In case you are having online programs, you can sign up for trials first and see if it makes any impact on your esteem, behavior, and actions.
Important facts about CBT
When to have CBT
You will need to have CBT in case you are going through any of the following situations and conditions:
- Psychotic disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Anxiety disorders
- Somatoform disorders
- Eating disorders
- Sleep disorders
- Personality disorders
- General stress and distress due to general medical conditions
- Muscle and bone pains
- Pregnancy conditions and the hormonal imbalances
- Long-term medications
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has proved to be effective in a good number of the cases involved. However, whether it works on an individual or not greatly depends on his or her will and determination toward the treatment. You don’t need to wait for a mental health condition to undergo CBT, since it can be very effective in other ways, too, such as learning how to better handle stressful situations on a daily basis. It won’t hurt to give it a try.
- Conceptualization - understanding the behavioral patterns and specific beliefs of individual clients.
- Cognitive formulation - The behavioral strategies and beliefs associated with a particular disorder.
- Cognitive model - A person’s reaction to a particular situation is largely determined by the way he or she perceives it and not the situation itself.
- Automatic thoughts - these are ideas that tend to pop up in your mind.
It is strongly recommended that you seek medical advice if you suspect that you are experiencing issues that can lead to serious emotional torture and negativity. Negative behaviors can greatly affect one’s beliefs and assumptions. Conditions that can lead to one looking for CBT cannot be fixed quickly and in a short time. Being patient and following instructions as provided by a therapist is one of the best methods of recovery.