Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is one of the most popular and successful mental health treatment methods nowadays.
It involves identifying problematic thoughts and behaviours and modifying them for the better.
Is CBT right for you? How does it work? That’s what we will explore in this issue of the Capital Choice Counselling blog.
What Happens in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?
Practitioners of CBT therapy recognize that unhealthy thoughts and behaviour can have significant negative effects.
As such, these unhealthy mindsets and actions become the target for change.
With CBT, you can expect the following steps to happen:
- Recognizing issues: As we mentioned, CBT therapy targets unhealthy thoughts and behaviours. For this to happen, you first need to recognize that there really are issues. Recognizing these is the first step in CBT.
- Pinpointing effects: After recognizing the issues, you then need to identify how these affect you negatively. Being able to pinpoint their negative impacts can help you formulate the proper responses.
- Formulating responses: For the negative thoughts and behaviours to change, you must do appropriate planning and strategizing. This will be a joint effort between you and the therapist and will involve a lot of introspection.
- Modifying behaviour: Once the healthy responses have been formulated, you will have to put them into action. This part is admittedly challenging but also very rewarding if done right.
CBT doesn’t just take current problems into account, but it also keeps your future well-being in mind.
That is why it’s an excellent way of addressing the various issues that it’s used for.
For What Issues Can Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Be Used?
Cognitive behavioural therapy is incredibly versatile when it comes to the things that it can help address. Some of these include:
- Eating disorders: The methods used in CBT are an appropriate match for the signs and symptoms of eating disorders. This is why CBT is one of the primary treatments used when addressing eating disorders.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) arises from extreme trauma and has various negative effects on those affected. CBT is a good fit since it can help modify the unhealthy associations that those with PTSD have.
- Anxiety-related and depression-related conditions: The conditions associated with anxiety and depression are well varied. Regardless of the condition, CBT can be used as one of the options for treatment. These conditions greatly benefit from modifying thought processes, after all.
- Other mental health issues: Just because we didn’t list the mental health issue here doesn’t mean that CBT isn’t a good fit. CBT can be used for pretty much any type of mental health issue. Of course, some types like the ones we mentioned above are the ones that can benefit the most.
- Counselling: CBT isn’t just for mental health issues. Other types of counseling, such as relationship and couples counselling, can also benefit from CBT.
How Can Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Change Your Life?
CBT therapy, if done properly, can have many lasting positive effects on a person. That is why it’s crucial to find a therapist who knows what they’re doing.
Some ways that it can help change your life for the better include:
1. It can help you pinpoint your bad habits.
Sometimes, we keep doing certain things without considering the impact on our mental or physical health.
Through CBT, you will be able to pinpoint what these harmful actions are and prevent yourself from doing them.
2. You can change the bad into something beneficial.
CBT, as we’ve already mentioned, isn’t just about identifying the bad things.
You’ll also be encouraged to actively modify the thoughts and actions that bring you harm.
Essentially, you’ll be changing the harmful stuff into ones that benefit you.
3. You become more self-aware.
The introspection you do in CBT doesn’t just make you aware of the things that are bad for you but makes you aware of the good things, too.
Learning to recognize both bad and good things makes you more appreciative of the things that you have.
This type of self-awareness is a healthy way of approaching life.
4. You learn how to face your fears.
It’s easy to let the things we fear to control our lives.
This is why it’s common to see people dealing with fear unhealthily.
With CBT, you learn to face your fears properly and healthily. Doing so can drastically improve your quality of life.
5. You learn how to think positively.
CBT helps you gain new perspectives regarding whatever challenges you eventually face.
You don’t just focus on how they affect you badly. You also learn to think more positively.
Having a positive mindset is vital since it lessens the stress that you undergo daily.
Of course, less stress is always welcome.
6. You learn skills that can help.
CBT can also equip you with skills that help you deal with different situations moving forward.
These skills, like proper communication or coping mechanisms, aren’t just band-aid solutions.
These are skills that you’ll have for life, and you can use them as you see fit in the future.
7. You learn to communicate better.
Cognitive behavioural therapy involves activities that essentially help you open up and let you voice out your thoughts.
Getting used to doing this can help you communicate better.
What’s more is that it’s not just you that benefits from this — those around you benefit, as well.
8. Coping becomes easier.
Resilience, or the ability to bounce back from challenging situations, is a valuable trait to have.
Resilience isn’t something you build on its own but rather a cumulative trait that comes from other qualities.
The many skills you get from CBT can allow you to build resilience better. These skills, along with the positive mindset that you can build, all contribute to making you more resilient.
Find a Therapist Who Is Well-Versed in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
CBT is a great way of dealing with specific issues and problems. However, not just anyone can perform CBT effectively.
If you’re considering CBT, you can find a therapist in our network who is well-versed with these methods. Whether you are looking for in-person cognitive behavioural therapy in Ottawa or nearby areas, or would prefer online / remote therapy from across Ontario, we are here to help.
Visit our counsellor page and select CBT to find a qualified, experienced therapist who specializes in cognitive behavioural therapy.