How Does Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Work?

by Apr 24, 20230 comments

When it comes to the medical world, acronyms are everywhere. If you’re unfamiliar with the medical world or medical terminology, it can seem even more confusing.

You know you’re interested in therapy, but there are so many different types of therapy and therapists out there. You’re already a little nervous about starting therapy and now you’re overwhelmed with all of the information.

Maybe you’ve read or heard about Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and you think you may be interested in it, but you’re not really sure where to start. Don’t stress!

Let’s learn more about how Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) works.

What Is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that helps to focus on modifying or changing an individual’s negative or dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, or thoughts. CBT is one of the most widely used forms of psychotherapy.

How Does CBT Work?

When you first start with CBT therapy, you and your therapist identify the thoughts that are causing you stress. After you’re able to identify those thoughts, you’ll work towards better managing the signs and symptoms of those thoughts.

Your therapist may have you keep track of your thoughts and feelings in a journal. This is a great step towards recognizing and identifying those stressful thoughts and feelings. After a few sessions, you’ll start to challenge that negative thinking while learning coping mechanisms to better manage any related signs and symptoms.

Your therapist will teach you ways to problem solve at the moment as well as have coping techniques ready to pull out when needed. During a session, your therapist may even role-play certain situations or scenarios with you to better prepare you for real-life interactions.

With the help and guidance of a licensed and trained mental health professional, you’ll be able to recognize and change some of those disordered thoughts over time.

The Goals of CBT

The overall goal of CBT is to overcome any disordered or distorted thought patterns. Your therapist will work with you to shift your negative thinking into a more positive outlook. Throughout treatment, you may notice additional benefits like learning how to express your feelings, better manage your anxiety or stress, learn coping techniques, and even learn interpersonal skills. You’ll form new habits that will be beneficial for your overall mental health and wellness.

The Pros and Cons of CBT

CBT is a highly effective form of therapy. There are many benefits associated with CBT. For one, it leads to long-term results during and after treatment. If an individual isn’t that thrilled about using a medication, CBT is a great alternative. When working with a counselor or therapist who is trained in CBT, the session duration and overall treatment plan can be pretty short only lasting between five to twenty sessions.

As with anything, there are positives and negatives. CBT may not be for everyone, and that’s okay too. CBT can be a big commitment. Even though the overall treatment can be fairly short for some, it will require a lot of time and work outside of the sessions to make sure it’s long-lasting. CBT can also be uncomfortable for some individuals.

What Does CBT Treat?

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is a great option for both individuals who may be struggling with a mental health condition or just looking to relieve some of the signs and symptoms they may be experiencing.

These are some of the most common mental health conditions that CBT is used for:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Generalized anxiety disorders
  • Phobias
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Substance use or abuse

Next Steps

If you’re interested in CBT, the next step is to reach out to a therapist to talk about your options. We’re here for you when you’re ready. Reach out to us today to set up an intake

Click here for more information on anxiety therapy.

Click here for more information on CBT therapy.