Cognitive behavioral therapy (known as CBT) is a common form of talk therapy. CBT focuses around identifying problematic thought patterns and reframing them in a positive way. Through CBT, sufferers of anxiety, OCD, depression, and more can overcome undesirable thought patterns, resulting in better mental health.
When dealing with a problematic mental health issue, it’s always recommended to see a licensed therapist. A therapist can take note of your current struggles and develop a personalized treatment plan to get you back on track.
It’s important to understand what to expect when going into CBT therapy. The good news is, everyone can understand the key principles of CBT and apply them to their lives.
- Behavior Activation
Behavior activation involves structuring and scheduling activities that someone may put off due to fear or anxiety. By setting strict expectations around getting certain activities done, one can overcome their fear and begin following through on actions. This may involve putting items on your calendar and imploring others to hold you accountable to commitments.
Journaling is one of the most impactful ways to get a deeper understanding of thought patterns and triggers for certain emotions. A portion of CBT will be centered around identifying certain emotions and recording them for reflection. A therapist may ask you to note both negative and positive emotions you have in between sessions, and when they occur.
- Exposure Therapy
If you suffer from debilitating fears, exposure therapy may be in order. A therapist will skillfully and slowly introduce items or actions that invoke fear in the patient, to gradually get them comfortable with the fear.
- Guided Discovery
In guided discovery, a therapist will acquaint themselves with your point of view to challenge your self-held beliefs and thought patterns. They might ask you to give evidence for or against a specific emotion or idea you have. Through guided discovery, a therapist can show a patient where their thinking is irrational or flawed and begin to heal undesired thought patterns.
- Relaxation Techniques
CBT also involves arming the patient with ways to manage fear and anxiety in everyday life. Your therapist might teach you breathing and meditation techniques that you can use to combat negative emotions whenever they arise.
CBT is an effective treatment option for a variety of mental illnesses. By seeing a licensed therapist who is knowledgeable in the techniques of CBT, you can begin to heal undesired thought patterns and take control of your life.