CBT: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
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What is CBT and How Does it Work?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has become one of the most popular forms of mental health treatment over the past several decades. The reasons why are easy to understand. CBT has been proven effective in dozens of peer-reviewed studies and in practical application. CBT is also an example of evidence-based treatment because it is informed by empirical evidence and proven to deliver results under a variety of circumstances. It is especially helpful in a treatment setting because it is known for producing important insights and breakthroughs in a relatively short period of time. CBT is effective across a wide range of mental health conditions, including but not limited to:
- Eating disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
The philosophy behind Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the idea that thoughts drive actions. CBT works by focusing on a person’s thinking to help modify their behaviors. The client works at identifying thoughts that aren’t serving their interests, by either exasperating a mental health disorder or skewing their perspective. The client is then guided to challenge those thoughts or replace them with new, more helpful ones. By changing their thinking and perspective, they change the way they feel.
This can help a person feel less helpless and more empowered. They can learn to leave behind unhelpful ways of thinking, such as always playing the victim role or allowing their feelings to be hurt. By identifying and challenging the thoughts and beliefs undermining them they can gradually replace them with more positive and empowering thoughts and beliefs that change their perspective. CBT is shown to help create marked change in many mental health disorders and is a useful method for anyone to foster a more productive and optimistic outlook.
The History of CBT in Short
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy was born of psychotherapy or talk therapy. CBT is primarily attributed to Dr. Aaron T. Beck’s work in the field in the 60’s. Beck and other clinicians noted that many clients were suffering due to erroneous beliefs and ways of thinking. They posited that if a person could change their thinking and beliefs, they could reduce the suffering and improve their conditions. This theory is supported by thousands of hours of clinical research now and decades of practical experience in the field, not to mention the millions of people who it has helped.
This approach to therapy is so ubiquitous now that many of us take it for granted, but it wasn’t around a few generations ago. Nearly every type of mental illness is positively impacted by the use of CBT, according to extensive research. Even people with no diagnosis can benefit from challenging some of their beliefs or negative thinking which affects their mood. Clinical studies as well as anecdotal evidence show more constructive thinking helps just about anyone live a happier, more fulfilling existence. It is this exhaustive research that put CBT firmly in the category of evidence-based treatment since it has been so thoroughly tested with similar results.
CBT at TruHealing Centers
TruHealing Centers employs cognitive behavioral therapy as a tool to help empower our clients to change their own thinking. The fact that this method is effective for so many different conditions make it a very versatile tool for self-discovery, self-awareness and growth. Because it relies upon proactive motions by the client, it enables them to feel they have some agency and control over improving their own conditions. This does wonders for not only getting people invested and engaged in their own treatment, but it also helps self-esteem.
CBT is best done with the assistance of a therapist. However, anyone can begin recording their thoughts and identifying patterns that are having an adverse effect on their mood and attitude. Changing these thoughts is what makes cognitive behavioral therapy work. Many clients find that after working with a therapist utilizing this method over the course of a number of weeks, these new ways of thinking, observing and even correcting their own thinking and behavior become second nature to them.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy offers a range of benefits, including:
- Reducing and managing symptoms of mental health conditions
- Allowing an individual to heal from trauma
- Helping to create coping skills for managing stress
- Providing healthy ways to manage emotions
- Assisting in relationship resolutions
- Strengthening communications skills
- Helping a person to recover from loss or grief
TruHealing Centers: A Trusted Partner
TruHealing Centers is dedicated to helping people living with mental health disorders. We are also proactive in supplying information and resources to people with mental illness and their families. TruHealing Centers believes that education is an essential part of the solution. Our mission is to help people recover from mental illness, find and help foster long-term recovery. TruHealing Centers is more than a healthcare provider. We’re a partner for recovery. We are ready to give you or your loved one everything they need for successful recovery. All that’s needed to begin is enough willingness to try.
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