Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of speech-based therapy that aims to solve problems by changing the way a person thinks and behaves. It is most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but has also been shown to be beneficial for other mental and physical health problems.
CBT is based on the concept that your thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and actions are interrelated. Negative thoughts and emotions can trap you in a vicious circle. CBT can help you break down overwhelming problems into smaller pieces and help you deal with them in a positive way. In this treatment, you learn how to feel better by changing negative patterns. Unlike other talk-based therapies, CBT focuses on your current problems rather than the past. It offers practical ways to improve your mental state on a daily basis.
In Which Diseases Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Used?
- anxiety disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- borderline personality disorder
- Eating disorders, eg anorexia and bulimia
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- panic disorder
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- sleep disorders, such as insomnia
- alcohol use disorders
- irritable bowel syndrome
- chronic fatigue syndrome
Although cognitive-behavioral therapy does not eliminate the physical symptoms of some of these disorders, it can help people cope with these symptoms better.
What Happens in a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Session?
CBT is usually administered in sessions once or twice a week. The treatment process usually requires 5 to 20 sessions. Each session lasts 30 to 60 minutes. During sessions, the therapist breaks down the problems you face into small parts such as thoughts, physical feelings, and actions. You work with your therapist to determine whether the components of your complaints are realistic and helpful. You determine the effect of each piece on you. Your therapist then helps you change unhelpful thoughts and behaviors. After determining what you can change, the tasks that you can do in daily life for these changes are determined. In the next session, you evaluate how well you have done these assignments. The ultimate goal of therapy is to apply the skills you have been taught in daily life.
Pros and Cons of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT is as effective as medication in the treatment of some psychological disorders, but it may not be suitable for everyone.
Some advantages of CIS:
- It can be supportive in cases where drugs alone are not enough.
- It can be completed in a relatively short time compared to other talk-based therapies.
- It can be used in different ways thanks to its detailed structured format. It can be adapted to different media such as group therapy, book or practice.
- It teaches useful and practical strategies that you can use in your daily life even after treatment ends.
Some disadvantages of CBT:
- To get the most benefit, you need to be committed to the process. The therapist can help and advise you, but your cooperation is required.
- It takes time to attend regular CBT sessions and do homework between sessions.
- It may not be suitable for people with complex mental problems or learning difficulties, or it requires well-structured sessions.
- It requires confronting your feelings and concerns. You may be uncomfortable at first.
- It focuses on the person’s capacity to change himself (his own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors). It does not address broader issues of familial or external origin that affect one’s health and well-being.
- Some researchers think that because CBT addresses existing problems and focuses on specific issues, it misses possible underlying causes of psychological problems such as unhappy childhood.