CBT, which is short for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, is a form of psychological treatment that is used to tackle a range of issues including but not limited to: depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, phobias, eating problems, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). For those seeking treatment, however, the choice of whether or not to try CBT may feel unclear. Perhaps you don’t know enough about it and aren’t sure if it will be a good fit for you. The good news is that there are proven benefits of CBT that can help in your decision-making process.
It Follows a Structure
Have you ever got to talking with someone and before you know it, it’s time to go and you haven’t even covered the reason why you’re meeting up in the first place? It’s frustrating, right? Well, that can also happen in therapy. Sessions can devolve into just general chats between you and your therapist that can sometimes leave you feeling as though nothing has really been accomplished. That brings us to the first benefit of CBT. The great part about CBT is that it follows a structure, thus eliminating the chance of this happening. Your therapist in San Francisco will first set an agenda for the meeting, then lead you in specific, result-based exercises in order to achieve that goal. Now, by doing so, it also means each session is going to be that more effective in helping you on your journey to recovery.
Speaking of effective, for those new to CBT, you may very well be asking yourself, ‘Will this actually work?’. Fair question. The idea of spending valuable time and money without positive, significant results can be daunting. Thankfully, CBT has proven itself to be a truly effective form of treatment in many studies over the years. In fact, the American Psychological Association – or APA – reports that CBT was proven to be just as successful – and sometimes even more successful – than other forms of psychotherapy or psychiatric medications. So, not only is there a solid track record when it comes to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, but also higher odds of patient success.
Furthermore, because CBT is goal oriented, your therapist will also be tracking your progress periodically to make sure you are continuing to improve. Patients will also be encouraged to practice what they’ve learned at home in order to make sure they are getting the most out of therapy.
It Treats the Issue
When it comes to treatment, no two methods are created equal. While some treatments try to just make the patient feel better through the use of medications, CBT actually gets to the root of the problem. CBT will focus on changing both thinking and behavioral patterns in order to fix the issue at hand. Throughout the therapy sessions, the patient will learn to see how his or her thinking can create problems and what they can do to change that. Examples may include gaining confidence in your abilities, understanding the behaviors and motivations of others, and learning how to use problem-solving skills to handle difficult situations.
When it comes to changing behavioral patterns, CBT can provide patients with strategies like how to face their fears, use role playing to prepare for problematic situations, and how to calm the mind. Even though getting a patient to feel better is not necessarily a bad thing, at the end of the day, the problem is still there. That’s why being able to address the actual cause of a disorder can be that much more effective at eliminating it.
It Will Last
For any patient, marking the end of your journey in therapy can feel rewarding, but at the same time, it can also understandably be quite scary. You may have reservations as to whether or not you’ll be okay moving forward on your own. Those are certainly valid concerns. This brings us to the fourth benefit of CBT. The skills acquired during your therapy sessions will be able to stick with you long after completing treatment. As mentioned earlier, your therapy sessions will provide you with insight and exercises at addressing thought and behavioral roadblocks.
These are absolutely beneficial, because as you go forward in life, you’ll be able to have those in your arsenal of tools whenever you feel you need them. We also mentioned earlier that CBT doesn’t rely on medication as the primary method of treatment. This is a great thing for patients coming out of therapy. There’s no concern about possible addiction to medication or being subjected to the financial burden of paying for meds in the long haul.
As you can see, the benefits of CBT are clear. A structural format, proven results, addressing the cause, and lasting success are four reasons why those dealing with a disorder are encouraged to consider Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Of course, determining the best method of treatment for you or a loved one is something that is very personal and every case is different. With any type of treatment, it’s always a good idea to speak with a professional therapist to see if CBT will be the right fit. No matter the issue though, self-care is of the utmost importance, and it’s crucial to have a team of professionals who will be there to help and guide you on your journey to recovery.
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