Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in Fort Pierce, FL

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of treatment for a range of mental health conditions. Mental health practitioners may use CBT to treat depression, relationship problems, anxiety, and other conditions. 

Participating in cognitive behavioral therapy can help people identify and change destructive thoughts and behaviors. Research shows that people who receive CBT have significant improvements in functioning and quality of life. In fact, many studies show that CBT is as effective as other forms of therapy or psychiatric medications. 

This article will explore how cognitive behavioral therapy works. You will learn:

  • The core principles of CBT
  • How cognitive behavioral therapy can treat mental health conditions
  • Where to find CBT in Fort Pierce

Contact the mental health specialists at Agape Behavioral to learn about our evidence-based treatment programs. You may also find the answers to your questions or schedule an intake appointment. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: An Overview

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of talk therapy. Mental health specialists may offer CBT to help people with a range of mental health conditions, including:

  • Eating disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Marriage or relationship problems

Mental health experts have conducted research to test CBT’s effectiveness. Numerous studies have demonstrated that using this short-term therapeutic approach can lead to long-term change. Here is a deeper look into what sets cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) apart from other types of treatment. 

Agape CBT

 

The core principles of CBT

There are several core principles that define this therapeutic approach. They are:

  • Mental health problems stem from unhelpful or faulty thought patterns
  • Learned patterns of destructive behaviors can lead to mental health problems
  • People with mental health conditions can reduce their symptoms by learning new coping skills

These core principles guide the process of cognitive behavioral therapy. During therapy sessions, people work to identify and change destructive behaviors. They develop new, healthy ways to approach challenges. 

CBT strategies

Identifying and changing unhelpful thoughts and feelings are at the core of the CBT approach. The primary strategies of CBT include:

  • Learning how to recognize how thought distortions create problems
  • Learning how to reevaluate your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors
  • Developing a better understanding of others’ motivations and behaviors
  • Increasing your problem-solving abilities
  • Gaining more confidence in your ability to manage challenges

People also work to change harmful behaviors by:

  • Learning to face fears instead of avoiding them
  • Developing strategies to calm the body and mind
  • Using role-playing to “practice” conflict or interactions

Cognitive behavioral therapy is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Therapists may use different strategies or techniques depending on their client’s needs. 

How is CBT Different From Other Types of Therapy?

There are significant differences between cognitive behavioral therapy and other therapeutic approaches. Here is an overview of what sets CBT apart from other types of therapy. 

Problem-oriented

Psychoanalysis and other forms of psychotherapy focus on a person’s past. People spend time examining events that happened during childhood or at different times. They attempt to find the root cause of their mental health conditions. 

Unlike other therapy types, CBT focuses on solving a current problem. It helps people find practical solutions and develop effective coping skills to use in real-time. This aspect of CBT makes it popular for time-limited use, such as in a rehab program. 

Highly-structured

Some other forms of therapy encourage people to talk freely during therapy sessions. Cognitive behavioral therapy enables people to focus on a specific problem. Then, the therapist and client work together to set realistic goals and develop practical coping skills to achieve them.

Focused on change

Many forms of therapy encourage clients to explore why a problem is occurring. People may work with a therapist to uncover and understand the complex roots of a problem. Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on changing unhealthy thought patterns in the present without identifying why the problem is occurring. 

Other therapeutic approaches use CBT techniques. For example, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and rational emotive behavior therapy use many of CBT’s principles and strategies. These therapies can help people identify and change harmful behaviors by examining their thoughts. 

Mental health practitioners may use a variety of therapeutic techniques when working with a client. Working with a trained, licensed therapist with varied skills can help you get the best, most personalized treatment possible. 

What to Expect in CBT

While participating in CBT, you will work with a trained, licensed mental health professional in one-to-one or group sessions. Your therapist will help you identify goals you want to work toward. 

Together, you and your therapist will break down a problem into five areas. These are:

  • Actions
  • Emotions
  • Physical feelings
  • Situations
  • Thoughts

You will explore how these aspects of a problem can affect each other. Then, you will develop strategies to identify and change learned, destructive patterns. 

You may participate in CBT sessions in a clinic or other office setting. Your CBT sessions will likely be highly structured. During each session, you and your therapist will focus on working toward your goals. 

What to Expect at Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Find CBT in Fort Pierce

If you or someone you love needs mental health treatment or support, you can find effective care at Agape Behavioral. Contact our specialists now to explore our holistic programs or to schedule an appointment. 

References:

  1. Sage Journals: The key principles of cognitive behavioural therapy
  2. American Psychological Association: What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
  3. National Institute of Health (NIH): In brief: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  4. Psychiatry Online: Cognitive-Behavioral Treatments for Anxiety and Stress-Related Disorders

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