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Is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Helpful?

Treatment for depression, substance use disorder (SUD), or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is safe and effective. One option for this treatment is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

CBT is a commonly used talk therapy that can help those with mental health and substance addiction disorders. The benefits of CBT are numerous because it guides people to identify and find ways to cope with the challenges in their lives.

What Is CBT?

CBT is a combination of cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy. How do these therapies work?

Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive therapy provides the path for you to develop a clear idea of your expectations, attitudes, and thoughts. It exposes any distressing or untrue beliefs you have.

Once you acknowledge these thoughts, your goal is to find healthy ways to change those beliefs. You do this so that you can reduce exposure to harmful situations or environments. One goal of cognitive therapy is to reduce negative associations or the importance attached to a specific belief.

When a harmful thought pattern occurs, you may attach those thoughts to similar situations. This attachment is called over-generalization. For example, if you experience a distressing situation and form an exaggerated idea about what will happen, you’re catastrophizing. The danger of either thought pattern is you could make your fear come true. Self-fulfilling prophecies can make your life more challenging than it needs to be.

Say you’re diagnosed with PTSD. Your inclination to avoid specific environments that may cause flashbacks can disrupt your life. Cognitive therapy identifies the avoidance and guides you to find ways to engage in life without becoming distressed.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapists believe people learn behaviors. Therefore, the first step of resolving a learned behavior is determining if it negatively affects your life. When you have established that a behavior is counter-productive to your life, you can begin unlearning the behavior.

An anxiety disorder creates a heightened sense of panic. Behavioral therapy helps you discover healthy ways to reduce your panic or fear.

Is CBT Effective?

For CBT to work, you must be willing to commit to your treatment. Be transparent and honest with your therapist. In a healthy, trusting relationship with your therapist, you shouldn’t find sharing your thoughts and feelings challenging.

When you began treatment, you created a treatment plan with your therapist. As treatment progresses, review the plan and update it if necessary. When doing so, be realistic about your goals. Realistic, attainable goals can keep you engaged in the process. Also, remember that change doesn’t happen overnight. Don’t give up on your treatment if you don’t see changes within the first few sessions.

When you engage in CBT with your therapist, you do so to address behaviors and beliefs. While CBT isn’t a cure-all, it can reduce harmful thoughts or behaviors. In addition, you can learn how to replace dangerous coping habits with healthy ones.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective, safe way to work on disruptive or harmful beliefs and behaviors. Therapists find clients respond well to CBT because it’s shorter than many forms of therapies and occurs in a structured space. The Guest House invites you to talk with one of our staff members about how CBT can help you. We encourage our clients to partner with their therapist to develop a realistic treatment plan. Whether your diagnosis includes substance use or mental health disorder, you can benefit from CBT. Learn more about the programs offered at our location near Ocala, Florida by calling (855) 483-7800.