Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based treatment designed to alter the damaging negative thought patterns that some people develop about themselves. Examples of pervasive negative thoughts include, “No one loves me,” and “I’m not good enough”. There can also be an intense fear of abandonment or belief that others are constantly judging them.
These unwelcome mantras are examples of the type of thoughts that can be modified through CBT. The focus is to look at how thoughts, emotions, and actions relate to each other and how they are affecting behavior. Destructive and irrational belief systems can lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as substance abuse or self-harm.
By helping our clients pinpoint and analyze these negative thought patterns, CBT can improve their coping abilities and help eliminate self-destructive behaviors.
How Does CBT Work?
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is unique because it’s an active therapy, meaning it requires an intense level of participation from both the client and their therapist to help the client learn and practice healthy coping skills and emotional responses. Some treatment plans may even require homework outside of therapy sessions.
Through CBT, our clients learn to recognize when involuntary negative thoughts, or automatic thoughts, enter their minds and the triggers that bring them on. By doing this, individuals can learn to better prepare for when they get triggered and better handle reactions and emotions. Understanding the triggers help clients to prepare and better handle their reactions and emotions. Empathy is also an important component of CBT. For example, a client may feel that their perspective is misunderstood by friends, family, and loved ones. Through discussion and examination of the client’s point of view, our therapist empathizes and connects with them, helping them to understand that their thoughts and feelings resulting from life events are valid.
Once a strong foundation is established, our therapist helps the client to mentally and emotionally organize the life events that have negatively impacted their mental health. By slowly examining each client’s unique experiences and showing them the relationship between their emotional distress and their harmful belief system, our therapists help clients start the healing process.
What Is the Evidence Behind CBT?
Several studies illustrate why CBT is a popular alternative to managing mental health disorders through medication. A study published by the National Institutes of Health, that examined the efficacy of CBT across groups patients suffering from a wide variety of mental disorders, found that more significant improvement was seen in the groups that underwent CBT than those that did not.
Studies have also found that CBT can be as effective in treating depression as prescription antidepressants. Unlike medication, that simply aims to eliminate the symptoms of the mental health disorder, CBT focuses on the whole condition by addressing the underlying issues. CBT is used to treat a variety of mental disorders including anxiety, mood disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse and addiction, anger management, and phobias.
CBT At Clearview Treatment Programs
CBT is an effective way to help clients eliminate their negative thought patterns so they can focus solely on recovering from their addiction or psychiatric disorder. At our Dual Diagnosis Treatment Center, Women’s Treatment Center, and Outpatient Treatment Center, we have a strong foundation of CBT that we use to treat a variety of mental health disorders. With the help of our CBT therapists, clients are given the tools they need to control their damaging thoughts and navigate challenges with improved coping skills.