By: Melissa Barton, MA, LPC-S Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, known as CBT, is becoming more widely used by counselors. Moreover, psychiatrists recommend it for a variety of mental health issues. These issues range from anxiety, depression, eating disorders, phobias, and substance use. CBT can also be helpful to people of most ages. Therapists can cater the treatment […]
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, known as CBT, is becoming more widely used by counselors. Moreover, psychiatrists recommend it for a variety of mental health issues. These issues range from anxiety, depression, eating disorders, phobias, and substance use. CBT can also be helpful to people of most ages. Therapists can cater the treatment to children, adults, and teens. So, if it can be used to assist with different issues and different populations, what exactly is CBT?
Basic Tenets of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:
Helps identify negative thoughts and irrational ways of thinking.
Our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all connected. For example, a student may experience increased anxiety if they have the thought, “I am going to fail this test,” right before an exam. This can lead to trouble focusing or being overly distracted during the exam. This possibly may lead to poor performance. Negative thoughts can pop up at any time. We may be unaware of when it is happening until after the fact. However, we can learn to become aware of our thoughts.
In CBT, a trained counselor can assist individuals in becoming aware of negative thoughts. Next, the therapist can help the client challenge those thoughts and add in healthier ways of looking at certain situations. For example, “ I studied and prepared for this test, and am capable of doing well” is a new way of thinking about the exam from above.
Helps people turn unhealthy patterns of behavior into positive coping skills.
Oftentimes, we rely on what we know or what we are used to cope. We may respond to our feelings and thoughts in ways that are not helpful. These unhealthy coping strategies may include:
- Overeating or restricting food
- Substance abuse
- Taking it out on another person which may lead to relationship issues
- Withdrawal, isolation or avoidance
In counseling, a therapist can help individuals recognize unhealthy behaviors. Unhealthy behaviors are ineffective and can possibly be harmful. CBT techniques can help people identify healthy coping skills. For example, individuals can learn and achieve healthy ways of dealing with feelings, negative thoughts, and stressful situations. Some healthy coping skills can include:
- Relaxation techniques and meditation
- Talking about feelings and thoughts with trusted people
- Exercise, being outside, and being with others
- Engaging in a hobby
- Journaling, or writing about thoughts and feelings
- Going to therapy
Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?
According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy works as effectively, or more effectively, as other forms of therapy and psychiatric medications (https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/patients-and-families/cognitive-behavioral).
Furthermore, CBT can be used to treat many mental health issues. Many studies have shown the effectiveness of CBT for anxiety, depression, eating disorders, relationship issues, self-harm, and substance abuse.
For instance, an individual can learn to identify negative ways of thinking and behaving. Then, can replace those patterns with new, healthier, and more positive thoughts and actions. This can help boost mood and decrease stress. CBT can be structured and short term, and useful for teens, adults, and children.
Begin Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Katy, TX Today!
If you or a loved one are struggling, there is hope. The counselors at the Counseling Center at Cinco Ranch are trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. We can help individuals and families dealing with stress and struggles. If you are ready to seek help, follow these steps:
- Contact our office to set up an appointment or to get more information about CBT
- Meet with one of our compassionate therapists
- Begin learning new ways of thinking and coping through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy!
Other Therapy Services We Offer
Here at The Counseling Center at Cinco Ranch we offer counseling services for people of all ages including: depression treatment, women’s issues, couples and marriage counseling, eating disorder treatment, counseling for kids, counseling for young adults, teen counseling, men’s issues, trauma counseling, anxiety therapy, and group counseling. Our therapists strive to regularly post blogs with helpful information on a variety of mental health topics. To learn more about our therapists and our counseling services, please reach out to the Counseling Center today!