It’s hard to say how successful CBT is. Some therapists and counselors report that their patients’ anxiety disorders improve dramatically after sessions. Others claim that it works for some people but not for others. And still other therapists, though they claim to employ different forms of therapy, claim that they are the best technique for anxiety disorder treatments. So what is really the answer as to whether CBT is the best treatment option or not?
First, we need to understand what CBT is not. It is not simply a form of psychotherapy. The two terms often are used interchangeably but they actually have distinct meanings. Psychotherapy refers to the process of talking with a therapist about your problems so that you can work out solutions to your problems.
With psychotherapy, you will talk to your therapist about your issues and be treated with prescription drugs or a combination of prescription medications and psychotherapy. With CBT, you will talk to your therapist as though you were having a psychotherapy session with another therapist who will be there to provide support and help you to work through your issues. When you first contact a therapist with an intention to try CBT, you may feel apprehensive or anxious. You might even feel that you aren’t doing this therapy correctly. Don’t worry; CBT is a science that is well researched and understood, so you’re definitely not alone in your confusion.
So how successful is CBT? Actually, it has been proven that CBT is very effective when used over a long term. Some people have been on CBT for decades and have found complete relief from their complex mental health needs. CBT is usually offered in forms of weekly sessions that may last as little as one week or as long as three weeks. The length of time you attend CBT will depend on the severity of your disorder, your age, and your personal preference. It is also sometimes offered in an online format, but this is becoming rarer.
People who suffer from OCD, social anxiety disorders, and depression have all had varying degrees of success with CBT. CBT works by helping your therapist help you identify the behaviors and thoughts you are trying to resolve, as well as what your relationship with these thoughts are. For example, if you suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), your therapist may suggest that you go to therapy to find out why you are afraid to clean your house. You’ll learn how to replace these obsessive-compulsive thoughts with rational ones so you don’t obsess over your disorder. In addition, your therapist will help you learn how to replace your rituals with healthy behaviors such as paying your bills on time, managing your finances, and developing positive habits like avoiding procrastination and avoiding the stress and anxiety that clutter causes in our lives.
If you suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), CBT can help you reduce the flashbacks, nightmares, and flashbacks you have experienced in your life. In addition, you can learn how to effectively deal with your emotions such as sadness and anger. Your therapist will teach you how to cope with these feelings, replacing them with calmer responses. When combined with treatment for anxiety and depression, CBT can have a very positive impact on the progress of those suffering from mental health disorders.
Even though CBT is an effective form of cognitive behavioral therapy, it can be difficult to schedule or manage. Because of the scheduling issues, many therapists are now offering CBT as an intensive course of study. This means that instead of just one or two sessions, you will attend several intense CBT sessions over a course of months or years. If you are suffering from PTSD and want to address your issues more completely, you may wish to consider an intensive course of CBT.
The exposure therapy component of CBT is very effective for people who have a problem with anxiousness and who also have OCD. The exposure therapy portion of CBT can be very difficult for people who do not suffer from anxiety and OCD. In this part of CBT, clients may need to perform rituals, avoid specific situations, or repeat behaviors until they become aware of the OCD triggers that cause anxiety. Some people find that they benefit from being taught Obsessive Compulsive Disorder instead of the exposure therapy, because they can then learn to modify their rituals and behaviors to avoid possible triggers without having to change their deep-rooted personality disorders.