The full form of CBT in psychology is Cognitive Behavior Therapy. CBT is a specific mental health therapy technique that focuses on identifying and changing the negative thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that lie at the root of the patient’s problems.
What is Cognitive Behavior Therapy?
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on how thoughts, emotions, and behaviors interact in a person’s mind. CBT is used to treat several mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety.
CBT emerged through the 1960s and originated from the work of psychologist Aaron Beck, who noticed that certain kinds of thinking led to psychological issues.
One of the most significant advantages of cognitive-behavioral treatment is that it assists the patients in developing coping skills, which turns out helpful to handle present mental health issues as well as future challenges.
Types of CBT
There are four main types of CBT are :
1. Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT)
Helps people identify irrational beliefs and negative self-talk and works to challenge these beliefs and change the negative talk into positive talk to reduce emotional distress.
2. Cognitive Therapy
Looks at the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to identify dysfunctional patterns and change them.
3. Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Focuses on thoughts and behaviors while including other strategies, like emotional regulation and mindfulness techniques.
4. Multimodal Therapy
Trains the therapist to understand that psychological concerns must get addressed through seven distinct but related modalities: behavior, affect, sensation, imagery, cognition, interpersonal variables, and drug/biological.
Uses and Effectiveness of CBT
Cognitive Behavior Therapy can treat many types of mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, anger issues, OCD, PTSD, phobias, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, social anxiety disorder, personality disorders, and more.
It also helps with sleeplessness, relationship issues, low self-esteem, grief and loss, breakups, and divorce.
CBT is among the most researched kinds of treatment, in part since it centered therapy on highly specific objectives and the analysts could quantify the results relatively easily.
A 2018 meta-study found CBT helped improve symptoms of anxiety and anxiety-related disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Where earlier behavior treatments had focused almost only on institutions, reinforcements, and punishments to alter behavior, the cognitive strategy addressed how feelings and thoughts affect behaviors.
Nowadays, alcoholism treatment is among the very well-studied kinds of therapy and has been proven to be most effective in treating a selection of psychological conditions including stress, depression, eating disorders, sleeplessness, coronary disease, anxiety disorder, PTSD, and substance use disorder.
Techniques of CBT
CBT is a very effective form of treatment for many mental health disorders. Though there are different Cognitive Behavior Therapy techniques that are more appropriate for certain disorders.
The aim of cognitive behavior therapy is to educate individuals that while they can’t control all facets of the world around them, they could take control of how they interpret and cope with things in their surroundings.
The four common CBT techniques are journaling, role-playing, relaxation techniques, and identifying negative thought patterns.
Journaling is a way for us to express our feelings on paper without needing someone else’s input or judgment on what we have written.
Role-playing teaches us how to react when we face certain scenarios that may lead us to negative behavior patterns.
3. Relaxation techniques
Relaxation techniques help us calm down and deal with the less important things of the day so we can focus more on what is really important.
4. Identifying Negative Thoughts
There are various techniques used for identifying negative thought patterns. These include:
- Thought Record is where a person records their thoughts and feelings after an event. This gives them time to reflect on what led to their negative thoughts and feelings, which can help them learn novel ways of thinking about the event.
- A devil’s advocate, where we take on a fresh perspective from our own to challenge our own beliefs and see if they hold up against the other side’s argument.
- Situational analysis, helps people find the difference between the situation they are in now and any similar situations in the past.
Three vital takeaways of CBT are:
- CBT is a collaborative therapy that needs both the patient and the counselor to work together.
- It needs a readiness in the person seeking therapy to change.
- BT is a short-term therapy technique that can help people find new ways to behave by changing their thought patterns.
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Author Bio: Written and reviewed by Sandip Roy—a medical doctor, psychology writer, and happiness researcher. Founder and Chief Editor of The Happiness Blog. Writes on mental health, happiness, positive psychology, mindfulness, and philosophy (especially Stoicism).
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