What is Cognitive Behavior Therapy?
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), commonly referred to as therapy talk, is a form of proactive psychotherapy treatment that is used to treat a range of mental and emotional problems, including:
- Anxiety disorders
- Marital problems
- Alcohol and drug use problems
- Eating disorders and other severe mental illnesses.
Many people who are coping with mental health issues find that CBT helps them manage their fears and improve their overall quality of life. CBT is different from other forms of therapy because it takes a more proactive approach to change negative thinking. One of the main goals of CBT is to change the patterns of thinking or behavior that’s behind a person’s difficulties, which typically changes the way that they feel. In turn, this helps them recognize and challenge their thoughts and learn practical self-help strategies. And that strategy is so powerful because it helps to bring positive changes into a person’s life. Essentially, it teaches people to “reset” their thoughts and how they react to things.
History of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
In the 1960s, a psychiatrist named Aaron Beck made a compelling observation while he was working with his patients. During their sessions, he realized that his patients were having an internal dialogue while the patient and Beck were talking about their issues. Although only parts of their dialogue were reported to him, Beck realized that it has an impact on the patient’s feelings and perceptions.
After discovering this, Beck developed cognitive therapy by using both psychotherapy and behavioral techniques to overcome negative thinking. Years later, it was renamed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy because of the use of behavioral methods. Among all the different types of psychotherapy, CBT has the most clinical evidence that suggests that it is effective.
Research studies have shown that CBT can be just as effective as taking medication to treat mental health disorders.
Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Many people who are trying to cope with a variety of mental health disorders discover that CBT can be very useful in managing their fears and problems. CBT takes a more positive approach to change negative thinking. Essentially, you are teaching your brain a new way of learning and viewing the world. You learn how to slow down your past-paced thinking, allowing yourself the opportunity to think clearly and rationally. Additionally, here are a few more benefits of undergoing CBT:
- It helps control emotions.
People with mental health disorders are confronted with intense emotions, which typically involves intense mood changes. However, thanks to CBT, individuals become better at recognizing and managing their intense emotions. Also, instead of having negative feelings arise, CBT helps people think more rationally.
- It helps with coping with grief.
Losing a loved one is never easy, and everyone copes with losses differently. And oftentimes, it can affect one’s mental health. CBT can be a great aid in the grieving process, and that is why it is so highly recommended by psychiatrists.
- It’s a great alternative if medication isn’t working.
Sometimes people can’t take medications or medications just don’t work for them. CBT is a great alternative for those people, and CBT can work just as well.
- It aids in resolving conflicts.
The one major component of CBT is effective communication. By undergoing CBT, you can improve your communication skills. And your improved communication skills will be useful in solving problems involving your relationships with others.
- CBT teaches coping techniques and strategies to deal with stress.
There is no doubt that life is stressful. However, some people deal with stress better than others. CBT can help identify the causes of stress and find ways to manage those problems in a healthy and effective way.
- It helps in preventing relapse.
With the skills learned in CBT, you will be able to minimize the symptoms of your mental health conditions and avoid possible relapses.
Find a Qualified CBT Specialist
If you are located on the west coast and want to learn more about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and how it can benefit you, visit Dr. Mark Herbst. Dr. Herbst is a qualified CBT psychiatrist in the Los Angeles area. He specializes in CBT and is experienced in treating the specific mental health issues that you may be facing.