What is CBT- An Introduction to a Revolutionary Therapy with A Case Example

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) is a very popular kind of talk therapy wherein the client engages in organized treatment with a mental health counselor (psychotherapist or therapist) by attending a certain number of sessions. Many pieces of research highlighted that CBT is useful for a variety of issues, namely depression, emotional problems, substance addiction issues, marital issues, disordered eating, and more. According to research, CBT significantly improves functionality and well-being. Additionally, studies have shown that CBT is just as successful as or even more effective than other types of psychological treatment or psychiatric drugs. There is a wealth of scientific data supporting CBT, demonstrating that the techniques used genuinely result in change.

Let’s Understand the Basic Premise of CBT

CBT is primarily concerned with the interpretations that individuals assign to their experiences. CBT is sometimes mischaracterized as focusing on “fixing” flawed mental processes, being “logical,” or merely addressing “surface” difficulties; nevertheless, all of these assertions are false.

We create beliefs and understandings about the world as we go about living our lives. These connotations influence how we really view the world. Sometimes our ideas disturb us, which might cause us to act in unproductive ways. A CBT therapist’s job is to assist their clients in comprehending and analyzing their beliefs and in helping them make understand the meanings attached to the same.

Core Ideas in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy’s fundamental ideas center on changing thought and behavior patterns. It frequently serves as the cornerstone of contemporary addiction therapy, but it may also be utilized to assist those who struggle with more widespread conditions like depression and anxiety. The treatment can be successful up to 75% of the time when used. As a result, it ranks among the most effective therapies now in use.

  • Adapting Thought Patterns
  • Changing the Patterns of Problematic Behaviours
  • Posing New Objectives

Read Blog: How to alter automatic negative thought (ANTs) – CBT

Foundation of CBT

CBT is founded on a number of fundamental ideas, such as:

  • A portion of psychological issues can be attributed to learned undesirable behavioral patterns.
  • People with psychological issues can develop more robust coping mechanisms, which will help them manage their symptoms and improve their effectiveness.
  • A portion of psychological problems can be attributed to negative or dysfunctional thought processes.
  • Unhelpful conduct patterns that have been learned have a role in some psychological problems.
  • Problematic core beliefs, such as fundamental notions about who you are and how the world works, can contribute to psychological problems.

In CBT therapy, efforts are often made to alter thought processes. These tactics might consist of:

  • Recognizing one’s own thinking errors that are problematic and then reevaluating them in the context of reality.
  • Improving one’s knowledge of other people’s motivations and behaviors.
  • Using problem-solving techniques to deal with challenging circumstances.
  • Increasing one’s self-assurance as one grows in confidence.

CBT treatment often includes efforts to alter behavior patterns. Among these strategies are:

  • Rather than avoiding one’s worries, one should confront them.
  • Role-playing to prepare for possible difficult encounters with others.
  • Learning to relax one’s body and quiet one’s thoughts.

It’s not like all CBT will employ all of these techniques. Instead, the therapist and client work together to build a comprehension of the issue and a treatment approach. CBT focuses on teaching individuals how to be their own counselors. Patients/clients are assisted in developing coping skills through activities in the therapy as well as “homework” tasks outside of sessions, allowing them to learn to modify their own thinking, troublesome emotions, and behavior.

What Occurs Throughout CBT Sessions

  • If CBT is suggested, you would typically meet with a counselor once per week or every two weeks.
  • The typical length of the therapy program is six to twenty sessions, each lasting between thirty and sixty minutes.
  • You will collaborate with your therapist throughout the sessions to dissect your issues into their component elements, such as your ideas, bodily sensations, and behaviors.
  • These areas will be examined by both you and your psychotherapist to see whether they are unrealistic or harmful and to ascertain the impact they have on one another and on you.
  • Then, your therapist will be able to assist you in figuring out how to alter negative ideas and behaviors.
  • Your therapist will instruct you to practice making these adjustments in your everyday life after determining what you can alter, and you will talk about how it went at your subsequent appointment.
  • The ultimate goal of treatment is to make you understand how to use the abilities you have acquired throughout treatment in your everyday life.
  • Even once the course of therapy is through, it must assist you in addressing your issues and prevents them from having a detrimental influence on your life.

Read Blog: How ABC Model of CBT works?

What Makes CBT Different?

Unlike conventional psychotherapies, CBT is not focused on identifying the causes of a person’s specific issue rather it focuses on how individuals’ thought patterns impact their emotions and behavior. People may improve their ability to control their emotions, modify their behavior, and learn to cope more realistically and successfully with the challenges and difficulties in their lives by altering these patterns. Because CBT needs fewer sessions to produce beneficial effects than other forms of psychotherapy, it is more helpful for many people.

Many different psychotherapies differ from CBT in the following ways:

  • Pragmatic – it aids in the identification of certain issues and attempts to address them extremely.
  • Organized – instead of conversing openly regarding your experience, you and your counselor address particular difficulties and create objectives for you to attain.
  • Centered on present problems – Instead of focusing on resolving difficulties from the past, it is concerned primarily with how you behave and think right now.
    Working together – Your therapist won’t direct you; instead, they’ll collaborate in order to find answers to your existing problems.

Read Blog: The difference between CBT and DBT

Application of CBT in the Field of Therapy

CBT has been proven to be a successful method of treating a variety of mental health issues.

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar illness
  • Disorder of the borderline personality
  • Eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Panic attack
  • Phobias
  • Trauma-related stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Psychosis and Schizophrenia
  • Sleep issues, such as issues with sleeplessness brought on by abusing alcohol
  • Mood fluctuations/disorders

CBT is occasionally used to treat patients with chronic health issues, including:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBS)
  • syndrome of protracted weariness (CFS)
  • persistent pain from fibromyalgia

Despite the fact that CBT cannot treat these conditions’ physical symptoms, it can help patients manage them more effectively.

Case example (Application of CBT)

The story of Alice is a fantastic illustration of how CBT may be used to decode meanings and how she dealt with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

After having her first kid, Alice soon started to have intrusive, unpleasant thoughts about hurting her child. She interpreted this to imply she was a wicked and dangerous individual. She attempted to ignore the thoughts and had her spouse take care of the majority of the caregiving in case she hurt her kid since she felt so terrible humiliation and fear. She ultimately worked up the nerve to share the ideas she had been experiencing with her therapist. Her therapist-assisted her in realizing these intrusive thoughts are quite typical and perfectly natural. Over time, Alice realized that her worries were precisely those of a mother who genuinely cared about her child and felt committed to ensuring its safety; a truly evil or harmful person would not be as concerned about the infant as she was. Alice benefited much from this paradigm shift. She became capable of enjoying being a mother since she was no longer afraid to take care of her kid.

Read Blog: How to develop Self-compassion with the help of CBT?

Cons and Benefits of CBT

Some mental health issues can be successfully treated with CBT, although it may not be effective or appropriate for everyone.

The following are only a few advantages of CBT:

  • Compared to other talking treatments, it may be finished in a short amount of time.
  • CBT may be delivered in a variety of ways due to its organized nature, including online, in groups, and through self-help literature.
  • Even after the course of therapy is over, it offers valuable and applicable techniques that may be applied in daily life.
  • It places emphasis on the individual’s potential to change (thinking patterns, emotions, and certain behaviors)
  • It may be beneficial in situations where using medicine alone has failed and could be as efficient as medication in addressing some mental health issues.

Consider the following as some of CBT’s drawbacks:

  • To really get the most benefit from the process, you must dedicate yourself to it.
  • It might take a lot of time to attend routine CBT appointments and complete any additional work between sessions.
  • People with more complicated mental health problems or learning challenges may find this inappropriate.
  • involves facing your emotions and fears; you may first feel nervous or uncomfortable on this level.
  • sometimes doesn’t address any systemic or family issues that might have a major influence on the health and wellness of a person.
  • The probable underpinnings of mental health concerns, such as a difficult upbringing, are not addressed by CBT, even though it concentrates on particular issues and treats present problems.

Concluding thoughts on CBT

You can identify harmful or counterproductive thinking and behavior patterns with the use of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a therapeutic strategy. CBT seeks to assist you in recognizing and exploring the ways in which your feelings and ideas might influence your behavior. As soon as you become aware of these patterns, you may start learning how to alter your behavior and create fresh coping mechanisms.CBT focuses lesser on the past and more on the present. Other types of psychotherapy may be as or even more successful in treating specific diseases in some patients. The fact that there isn’t one size that may fit all is crucial.

Course: To know more about CBT and its usage for different disorders, enroll in our courses.

  1. Managing OCD with Mindfulness & CBT
  2. CBT Counseling with Mindfulness for self-compassion

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Worksheet: Download our free worksheet to get started with CBT and self-care for your mental health.

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