The Basics of Cognitive Behavior Therapy

November 12, 2012

The Basics of Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Cognitive behavior therapy refers to a kind of treatment in psychotherapy that helps people understand the different feelings and thoughts that may be affecting their overall behavior.

How It Works

In general, cognitive behavior therapy doesn’t last long. Basically, it focuses on helping and treating patients with very specific issues, like phobias, depression, anxiety and addiction. Throughout the treatment, patients will find out how to change their disturbing or harmful thought patterns that have been negatively influencing them as a person. This type of treatment is becoming more and more popular nowadays with mental health treatment professionals and consumers defending it. Not only is this treatment known to be very effective in treating various maladaptive behaviors, but it is also much more affordable compared to other kinds of therapy out there.

The Uses Cognitive behavior therapy is generally used to treat people with various kinds of disorders, such as anxiety, depression, addiction and phobias. It is generally considered to be a highly researched kind of therapy, too, because it focuses on reaching very specific goals and its results are easy to measure.

The Different Kinds

There are various approaches to this type of therapy, all of which are used on a regular basis by experts in mental health. Here they are:

  • Cognitive Therapy

  • Rational Emotive Therapy

  • Multimodal Therapy

The Components

A lot of people tend to experience feelings or thoughts that compound or reinforce faulty beliefs. These beliefs could then result in problematic behaviors that may affect different aspects of life. Somebody with low self-confidence, for example, might start thinking so negatively about his appearance or abilities that he starts avoiding people, school or work altogether. To fight such destructive behaviors and thoughts, a cognitive behavior therapist would help the patient pinpoint his problematic beliefs before anything else. Although this might be hard for patients who have trouble with introspection, it could lead to a lot of important insight and self-discovery in the end, though. After that, the therapist will focus on the behaviors that have become a huge part of the problem and the patient will start to practice and learn brand new skills that he can use in the real world. A drug addict, for example, might start practicing how to avoid people who might drag him back into a drug-addled world.

Most of the time, cognitive behavior therapy is a slow process, but it does help patients take the steps that they need to change their ways. Somebody who is socially anxious, for instance, could start by imagining himself in a social situation that provokes anxiety before he starts practicing talking to people he trusts and moves on to bigger social goals.

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