How effective is CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)? In spite of what the marketing departments may have you believe, CBT is not a magic cure all. Although it can be very effective at reducing anxiety and depression, the underlying problems must still be addressed. A balance must be found between relaxation techniques and cognitive behavioural therapy in order to bring about long term changes. The following article will look closely at CBT and its relationship with anxiety and depression.
The central idea behind CBT is that abnormal thinking or behaviour is a result of distorted perceptions. People with anxiety disorders often think they are nuts when they are really just experiencing an exaggerated fear or are just plain scared. CBT treats these underlying feelings and questions about oneself as distorted and leads to therapy which enables you to answer the questions you have and challenge those distorted thoughts. Cognitive behavioral therapy is widely regarded as the most effective means of dealing with depression and stress.
Most people who have been through cognitive behavioural therapy report feeling better in a matter of weeks. This is because the underlying cause of their anxiety and depression was addressed, making them feel better. CBT is structured and individualised and you should be able to receive individualised CBT no matter what your problem is. Although the success rate for depression and anxiety disorders is higher than those for OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), CBT has been shown to be equally as successful.
In the context of CBT, cognitive restructuring is one aspect of the treatment process. Cognitive restructuring teaches sufferers how to change their thoughts and behaviour so that they become more stable and less anxious. This helps you to gain a sense of control over your life and this, in turn, helps you to get rid of the conditions which triggers your symptoms.
What are the benefits of CBT? It’s been proven to be an effective way to treat all kinds of mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression. A large percentage of those who complete CBT treatment remain free from their mental health problems, and some have found that their anxiety and other disorders improve significantly. Many of those who have completed CBT also go on to teach others about it. As well as being an effective treatment for those suffering from anxiety and depression, CBT can be beneficial to those with other common mental health problems, such as social phobia, panic disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder.
One particular aspect of CBT treatment is to challenge the negative thoughts and beliefs that can make the sufferer feel inadequate and incompetent. One of the ways that CBT helps people to challenge these thinking patterns is through cognitive distortions. The concept of cognitive distortions means that the patient will have to be subjected to a series of questions or behaviour patterns so that they can determine what their real thoughts are and whether they are related to what is actually happening in their lives.
An example of one of these cognitive distortions is: ‘Thinking negatively is bad’. When you answer this question honestly, you will realize that this is simply not true. Your subconscious mind does not believe that thinking negatively is bad. In fact, your mind is constantly thinking and monitoring your behaviour to ensure that you are treating it in the best possible way. Through the process of cognitive behavioral therapy, you will learn to question your beliefs about yourself, your environment and others, and discover which of these thoughts make you feel the most inadequate.
Another aspect of CBT therapy is to offer support and help. In the initial stages of CBT, clients are encouraged to talk frankly about their problems and their fears, and to build on their relationships. This is the only way that people can truly receive help for any kind of mental illness. Talking with friends, family and a therapist is an important part of CBT treatment, and if you feel stuck with your anxiety or depression, then you should definitely speak to someone about your situation. No one has to live with mental illness, and anyone can find help for their condition.