Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based treatment designed to alter the damaging negative thought patterns you may have developed about yourself. Maybe thoughts such as, “No one loves me,” or, “I’m not good enough,” come into your mind several times a day. Maybe you’ve developed an intense fear of abandonment or believe others are constantly judging you.
These unwelcome mantras are examples of the type of thoughts that can be modified through CBT. The focus of CBT is to look at how your thoughts, emotions, and actions relate to each other, and how you behave as a result. Destructive and irrational belief systems can lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as substance abuse or self-harm.
By helping you to pinpoint and analyze these negative thought patterns, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can improve your coping abilities and help steer you away from such self-destructive behaviors.
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How Does CBT Work?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is unique in that is an active therapy, meaning it requires an intense level of participation from both you and your therapist to help you learn and practice healthy coping skills and emotional responses. Your treatment may even require homework outside of therapy sessions.
Through CBT, you will learn to recognize when involuntary negative thoughts, or automatic thoughts, enter your mind and the triggers that bring them on. By doing this, you can learn to better prepare yourself for when you do get triggered and how to better handle your reactions and emotions to those events.
There is also an element of empathy at work in CBT. You may have felt your perspective has been misunderstood by friends, family, and loved ones throughout your life. Your therapist, through discussion and examination of your point of view, will work to empathize with you, will connect with how you see things, and work to help you understand that your thoughts and feelings are a result of life events and are valid.
Once this foundation is strong, your therapist will help you mentally and emotionally organize those life events that have led you to where you are in your mental health. This is accomplished by slowly moving you through, by questioning and examination of your unique experiences, and showing you the relationship between the emotional distress you have undergone and your resulting damaging belief systems.
What Is the Evidence Behind CBT?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has become a popular alternative to managing disorders through medication, and studies over the past several years have shown why.
A study published by the National Institutes of Health examining the efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy across groups of patients suffering from a wide variety of mental disorders shows that evidence behind the success of CBT is very strong, revealing that greater improvement was seen in the groups that underwent CBT than those that did not.
In fact, studies have shown that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be as effective in treating depression as prescription antidepressants are. Instead of simply removing the symptoms of the mental disorder as a medication endeavors to do, the focus of CBT is to remove the disorder by getting to its core and working through the root issues.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is used in treating a variety of mental disorders such as anxiety disorders, mood disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse, and anger management. CBT is also used in the treatment of phobias.
CBT at Clearview Treatment Programs
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is an effective way to help stop yourself from accepting any type of negative thought patterns that you may have fallen into and focus on recovering from your addiction or psychiatric disorder. Because of its success in treating most disorders, we have a strong foundation of CBT throughout our residential treatment, day treatment, and outpatient treatment programs. With the help of one of Clearview’s CBT therapists, you will be given the tools to better control your damaging thoughts and learn to navigate everyday challenges with improved coping skills.