What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?
It’s not always clear why we feel the way we do. But as with many cases of mental health conditions, there is usually a pattern of destructive thoughts and behaviours, which can explain why we are feeling a particular way. A trained therapist can help you to identify patterns in your thoughts and behaviours and work towards improving your feelings and emotions.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) focuses on thoughts (cognitions) and behaviours and evaluates how they are impacting our mental well-being. CBT identifies and improves detrimental thoughts and behaviours, which in turn brings about a positive change in our emotions.
Importantly, CBT has been extensively researched and found to be an effective form of treatment for many mental health conditions. Including depressive disorders, such as depression and anxiety-type disorders such as generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, health anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and social anxiety. Again, the reason why CBT is an effective treatment of these conditions is because both depression and anxiety are cloaked by destructive thoughts, feelings and behaviours. By tackling these processes in a healthy way, a genuine improvement can be seen in ourselves. It’s important to mention that CBT is not limited to depression and anxiety.
CBT is just as, and in many cases, more effective than medication. This is due of the nature of CBT as a therapeutic tool. While medication focuses on neurochemically balancing neurotransmitters (chemicals) in the brain. CBT identifies and changes the nature of destructive thoughts and behaviours that are causing distressing emotions. In fact, in many cases once medication is halted, the brain reverts to previous ‘states’, and adverse mental health usually relapses. CBT has the upper hand here, as what you learn during a course of CBT you will be able to use for the rest of your life.
CBT is one of the most effective and valued therapies available and gives you the understanding of your mental health and psychological tools to regain control over your life.
Example Outline of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
While CBT is an effective treatment for many mental health conditions, the therapeutic procedure is different depending on what you are experiencing. An example of the therapeutic journey for depression is as follows.
CBT for depression usually focuses on the following key areas such as:
- Thoughts and mood
- Behaviours and mood
- Social interactions and mood
- Goal setting
- Relapse prevention
It's important to understand that CBT is not limited to these areas. There are a great deal of therapeutic techniques and tools available, and a trained therapist will work with you and help you overcome adversity.