Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a form of talk therapy implemented by many therapists to help patients cope with symptoms they may be facing. If you’ve been thinking of starting therapy and have researched CBT, you probably have some questions. Specifically, you may be curious as to what cognitive behavioral treats and how effective it will be for your needs.
What CBT is designed to treat
Cognitive behavioral therapy allows patients to use mindfulness to bring awareness to unhealthy ways of thinking and behaving that are contributing to their mental health issues. While helping the patient to discover these habits, the therapist will discuss and explore the ways these behaviors are affecting the patient and others. Therapists also provide valuable coping mechanisms to help the patient deviate from the normal ways of behaving, and achieve their mental health goals. In short, cognitive behavioral therapy seeks to help patients by addressing the smaller issues that contribute to the overall “big picture” affecting their overall well-being.
Because CBT targets behaviors and thinking patterns, it helps treat mental health conditions such as:
- Panic disorders (closely related to anxiety)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Addiction or alcoholism
- Eating disorders
Cognitive behavior therapy also helps patients better approach emotional issues by learning new ways to handle stress instead of their current ineffective methods. If a patient is dealing with trauma that resulted from abuse or violence, CBT can help them address any suppressed emotions and memories in a safe and judgement-free zone, and work on overcoming the associated underlying symptoms. CBT is also effective in managing grief and handling discord in relationships.
While CBT mainly targets mental health, it also helps patients cope with physical long-term health problems like chronic fatigue syndrome or irritable bowel syndrome.
What to expect from CBT
Many people walk into therapy with the expectation that the therapist and the therapy process will do all the work for them. However, cognitive behavioral therapy requires a lot of hard work on your part, as you will need to put in the effort to learn more about what personal issues are affecting you and what actions you can take to eliminate these harmful factors from your life. When your therapist decides that CBT is the best option for you, expect to take home a lot of self-improvement homework, such as daily journaling prompts, self-discovery exercises, and behavioral modification tools that you must engage with if you plan to get better.
Overall, CBT is a great treatment option that can help patients cope with life situations and mental health problems. If you are dealing with a problem listed above and are considering CBT to help you improve your situation, look for therapists who specialize in cognitive therapy in NYC so that you can take the first step in addressing your struggles and find ways to overcome them