Mental health awareness has become a priority for many people nowadays. Psychotherapy has been used time and time again to address any mental health issues that people may have. Psychotherapy aims to improve the well-being of the patient and involves many different methods. These methods have different focuses and vary in terms of what they do. One of the most notable forms of psychotherapy is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, also known as CBT.
CBT is one of the many forms of psychotherapy. What sets it apart from the other methods is that it focuses on finding hands-on solutions to problems. It also gets to the cause of the problems through the modification of negative thinking. Any self-destructive behavior, negative thought, and other mindsets that lead to negative effects on a person’s mental health are all addressed. All in all, CBT can be seen as a very positive way of solving problems through psychotherapy. It focuses on helping the patient find solutions in a healthy and effective way.
5 Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy is an excellent way of addressing many different types of problems. Aside from these, CBT also offers a wide range of other benefits. These benefits make CBT a practical way of solving these problems. These benefits can in fact aid people past the therapy sessions. Here are 5 benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy.
It is hands-on, relatively short-term, and it focuses on finding positive solutions to problems.
Unlike other forms of psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy is a lot more hands-on, and it encourages the patient to be more forward-thinking. The primary method associated with CBT is that it is focused on finding healthy solutions to the problems that the patient is plagued with. This involves modifying thoughts and thought processes that are considered to be detrimental for the patient. It also involves identifying and changing behaviors that are considered to be destructive. Removing these thoughts and behaviors will eventually contribute to the betterment of the patient.
It is also considered to be more short-term compared to the other forms of psychotherapy. A full cycle of CBT usually involves only 10 to 20 sessions. The variations will usually depend on the therapist’s recommendations based on the state of the patient. Some of the factors that can lead to variations include the following:
- Status of the patient
- Progress and improvement of the patient through the CBT sessions
- Amount of stress that is weighing down on the patient
- External factors, like the presence of support from family and friends, or situations that the patient is experiencing
Support from friends or family can affect one’s mental health for the better
Focusing on positive solutions to problems is the primary method associated with cognitive behavioral therapy. There are steps involved in order for this to be achieved. Therapists usually steer the therapy sessions into these steps in order for the patient to arrive at a positive outcome. Some of the steps include the following:
- Identification of situations that cause troubles and stress. These can be external, like work factors or relationships. These situations can also be internal, like mental or physical health issues.
- Awareness of one’s outlook and thought processes, which involves introspection on emotions, mindsets, and usual thoughts.
- Fixing the negative and destructive thought processes and behaviors after they have been identified
- Modification of the negative and destructive thoughts and behaviors.
The steps outlined above are designed to help the patient. Once these are done, the patient becomes more likely able to arrive at a solution to the problem. The therapist will also encourage the patient to stick to this change for the long-term.
CBT can help improve some mental health conditions
CBT is also a tool that can be used for addressing various mental health conditions. Many mental health issues involve the patient being unable to function properly as a result of being too overwhelmed by negative thoughts and emotions. CBT in itself is designed to address these thoughts and emotions for the benefit of the patient.
There are many studies that prove that CBT is an effective supplement to using psychoactive medications and drugs to improve the mental health of a patient. In fact, these studies even suggest that CBT is able to reduce the mental health issue relapses that a patient can experience. This is in addition to the fact that the symptoms of many of these illnesses are also addressed, reduced, and suppressed.
Some of the mental health issues that CBT can potentially address are the following:
- Anxiety and panic: Some people experience a disorder that causes excessive fear, panic, and feelings of unease. These are also known as anxiety and panic attacks. The emotions and thoughts concerning these disorders are addressed by CBT.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder: Also known as OCD, obsessive-compulsive disorder is a condition that leads the patient to have certain patterns for their thoughts and behavior. The most common ones include the development of obsessive thoughts and being compelled to do certain actions. CBT addresses these thoughts and helps find solutions to these compulsive behaviors.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder: Also known as PTSD, this disorder is caused by previous frightening or traumatic experiences. CBT aims to fix the thoughts that lead to negativity in the present.
- Phobias: There are many types of phobias, which are irrational and baseless fears. Phobias are psychological, and CBT fixes the patient’s outlook regarding these fears.
- Depression: CBT directly deals with the thoughts and that patients with depression have. These thoughts, once addressed and fixed, can treat the symptoms associated with depression.
It has very minimal risks involved
Being a non-invasive method, cognitive behavioral therapy has minimal risks involved. While CBT is a form that is commonly used with medications, the method itself has very few risks. The steps associated with CBT do not cause physical harm. The methods involved with this type of therapy identify negative thoughts and seeks to modify them. These methods do not leave the thoughts unaddressed and pose little risk to the patient.
As it addresses fears and negative emotions, CBT can also lead the patient to temporary stress. Addressing one’s fears and anxieties involve facing them, and this can cause distress to the patient. However, this is usually temporary as the solutions usually follow immediately after. Some examples of situations that temporary distress can occur are the following:
- Being exposed to one’s phobias
- Recalling experiences that have led to post-traumatic stress disorder
- Addressing anxiety and panic
- Other situations that bring about fear or distress
Patients become more self-aware and gain a more positive outlook on life
Many patients become more self-aware after completing a full cycle of cognitive behavioral therapy. Self-awareness usually involves being more in tune with one’s emotions, characteristics, and motivations. This is a positive trait to have, as increased self-awareness often leads to a better understanding of oneself. Increased understanding allows a person to be more prepared for stressful situations and proper reactions. This can help alleviate or prevent future problems.
Patients also gain a more positive outlook on life after proper CBT under a trained therapist. The main methods involved in CBT aim to remove negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. This leads to the patient becoming more trained to seek out negative thoughts and destructive actions and actively replace them with positive ones.
Some of the other effects of CBT on a person are the following:
- Becoming more aware of any potential stressors
- Knowing how to address these in a healthy manner
- Knowing how to steer clear of stressors
- Being able to identify negative thoughts
- Being able to avoid self-destructive actions
- Knowing how to act with a greater regard for one’s mental health
As a result, the positive effect of CBT extends way past what it is being performed by the patient for. It also leads to the patient having a generally more positive outlook on life.
Stress can negatively impact mental health
Its effectiveness has been proven by studies
There are multiple scientific studies and reviews that attest to the benefits of CBT. Many patients have become better, have improved mental health, and a more positive outlook as a result. CBT can also be done alongside other forms of therapy that psychiatrists and therapists may recommend. It is effective on its own depending on the situation, or it may be used with other therapies to bring about positive changes more quickly.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can bring about many positive changes in patients
Many people believe that there is a stigma against undergoing therapy. There is nothing wrong with undergoing therapy, especially if it is for the benefit of the patient. If you believe that you or a loved one is in need of therapy, do consider the method of cognitive behavioral therapy. It has many benefits that extend past mental health issues.
If you are in need of a professional therapist, you may consult with Capital Choice Youth Counselling. We are highly experienced professionals that are well-versed in various methods. CBT is one of the choices that we can offer. If you are interested, you may contact us by phone at (613)-425-4257, or use this contact form for your convenience.