What is Cognitive behavior therapy?
Cognitive behavior therapy is a treatment or a behavioural therapy that aims to target the negative thought pattern. During the therapy or the treatment, the people are made to identify disturbing or disrupting thought patterns that are the major cause of depression and leave a negative impact on the emotional well-being and behaviour of the people.
The aim of the therapy is to first identify the thoughts and help in replacing them with a more positive and realistic thought. It’s a talk therapy where your therapist or the psychotherapist
Help you in reducing the stress, cope up with complicated situations or stressful relationships, and face other challenges that life throws upon you.
What is the outcome of the therapy?
● Identify problems in a more clear manner
● Make you aware of automatic thoughts
● Help in challenging assumptions that might be wrong
● identify between facts and irrational thoughts
● Comprehend how one’s past experience can affect his/her present feelings and beliefs
● stop fearing the worst that can happen
● Use a different perspective to analyse the situation
● Comprehend other people’s actions and motivations in a better manner
● develop a positive way of thinking and analyzing the situations
● become aware of one’s own mood swings
● establish goals that are attainable
● avoid generalizations of thought
● stop blaming yourself for everything
● focus on current rather on future
● Rather making an assumption about how things can be or should be a focus on how they are
● face your fears courageously
● Do not judge yourself or others rather accept and understand them
Why is it done?
It may help you:
● With the symptoms of mental illness and manage them
● prevent a relapse of symptoms of mental illness
● Treat a mental illness without medications
● Learn techniques to cope up with the challenges of stressful life situations
● Identify methods to manage emotional situations
● Resolve conflicts in a relationship and learn ways of communication in a better manner
● Cope up with a loss
● Help in defeating emotional trauma happened due to abuse or violence
● Help in handling medical illness
Some of the mental health disorders that can be taken care of or given a new positive angle with CBT are:
● Phobias of all kind
● Anger issues
● Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
● Sleep disorders
● Eating disorders like bulimia or binge eating
● Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
● Substance use disorders
● Bipolar disorders
● Sexual disorders
● Anti-social behaviour like lying to people or hurting others
● attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
● Conduct disorder
● Personality disorder
● Substance abuse
Some techniques used in treating cognitive behavior therapy
● Smart goals are realistic, measurable, and time-limited.
● By questioning and considering the assumptions you made up about yourself or the situation, the therapist listens and analyzes the situation and helps you learn to challenge these by considering different viewpoints.
● Journaling is a very good method where you just need to jot down negative as well as positive beliefs that can replace the negative ones.
● Self-talk. It is another way where the therapist asks the patient to tell about a certain situation or experience and ask them to replace these negative thoughts with positive and constructive self-talk.
● Recording thoughts is a technique, the therapist asks the patient to come up with unbiased proofs supporting your negative belief and then, you are asked to use this evidence to develop a realistic thought.
● Working on a positive activity at each session can help increase positivity and improve your mood. Some activities include buying fresh flowers or fruit or your favourite thing, watching your favourite movie, or going on a picnic for a recreational activity or having lunch together with your family.
● Situation exposure. In this activity, you are asked to pen down situations or things that cause you distress. They should be written in order of the level of distress they cause. You are then asked to expose yourself to these things till the negative feelings subside. You are taught some relaxation techniques in Systematic desensitization technique where you learn to cope with your feelings in a difficult situation and manage yourself.
● All this should be followed by feedback from the therapist for better results.
Pitfalls while practising Cognitive behavior therapy
● Coping up with the change can be difficult
● It is a structured way to deal with the situation so can be stressful
● It is much required that people must be willing to change for the good