There are a number of situations where CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is found to be effective. People suffering from various forms of anxiety find a lot of benefit in going through CBT therapies. Anger, fear, panic disorders, severe bouts of depression, social anxiety and social phobia are some of the common issues that can be treated with success by well thought-out cognitive behavioral therapy. Many techniques come under the heading of cognitive behavioral therapy, and which one a therapist chooses depends on the type of mental and emotional illness that the client might be suffering from. Before administering cognitive behavioral therapy, a good therapeutic facility will first test for underlying physical causes that could be triggering the abnormal behaviors.
The main objective of cognitive behavioral therapy is to have a look at how cognitive aspects of the client, such as a belief system, impact the behavioral aspects. Cognition is the way we think about and perceive situations and events. Behavior is the way we behave and react to certain situations. However, in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), behavior is seen to grow predominantly from the beliefs we have about those situations rather than the situations themselves. Treatment avenues look at why clients are behaving the way they are and begin to educate the client with facts and alternative outlooks or challenges that help clients choose behaviors that are more in line with their own goals.
Though there are many cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, the following are the most commonly used.
- Helping clients to replace irrational thoughts with more logical and coherent thoughts.
- Going through a step-by-step approach to do away with such irrational thoughts over a period of time.
- Teaching patients to be more positive and assertive in the way they relate to people.
- Exposing clients gradually to various situations and ensuring that they behave rationally in such situations with the help of the right training.
- Removing myths and wrong beliefs associated with certain situations and conditions.
Where Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Might Be Helpful
There are many types of mental and emotional disturbances where cognitive behavioral therapy might be necessary. Here are a few of them:
- Unexplained phobias and other apprehensions which are hard to explain even by the patients.
- Moderate to severe anxiety disorders which again have no possible explanations or logic.
- Insomnia or disturbed sleep.
- Excess sleep.
- Eating disorders bordering on anorexia where often patients starve themselves to extreme weakness.
- Moderate to severe depression that could either be acute or chronic.
How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Actually Works On the Ground
The main focus behind any good cognitive behavioral therapy is to try and find out ways and means by which the emotional and behavioral problems suffered by the patients are diagnosed and treated. The basic premise on which the treatment works is quite interesting, namely that it is normal for human beings to have some irrational thoughts, behaviors, and attitudes. The therapy assumes that patients suffering from CBT have it in them to be happy and normal. The therapy also keeps in mind that issues in the environment have contributed to their current state of mental and emotional condition. Therefore the main thrust area is to remove these circumstances and put them in normal situations that will help them mentally and emotionally.
The Ratio of Success to Failure with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
At the end of the day, the biggest challenge in cognitive behavioral therapy is moving deeply rooted beliefs and perceptions. It can be a long process and beginning with a number of counseling sessions that set a baseline for understanding the emotions and behaviors. Hence, there is no doubt that the actual therapy will have the desired effect once the client and therapist begin to get at deep rooted beliefs and perceptions.
As a therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has proven itself in countless studies, so for the client who engages in the therapy and who wants to improve, the chances of complete recovery are quite bright. It has been found that in almost 90% of the cases with precise and accurate diagnosis, cognitive behavioral therapy has worked wonderfully well.