Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) was developed by Aaron Beck in the 1960s. Originally, CBT was used for depression but evidence of its effectiveness as a form of therapy quickly spread. For more information on how and why CBT is so effective, click here to read more about CBT on the CBT website.
What Can CBT Treat?
CBT’s effectiveness has grown exponentially throughout the decades. Random Control Trials conducted by researchers and mental health therapists have proven not only its effectiveness but also its efficaciousness. Meaning that it can start helping those receiving therapy services after a small number of sessions. Currently, CBT has shown its effectiveness when treating the following symptom presentations:
- Depression Disorders
- Anxiety Disorders
- Panic Disorders
- Substance Disorders
- Borderline Personality Disorders
*Two different forms of CBT are Cognitive Processing Therapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and CBT for Psychosis.
Who is Right for CBT?
As with any form of psychotherapy, an individual pursuing therapy should be prepared for an investment in both time and money to receive the clinical gains they desire. Life can be unpredictable but, if you can, look into the future to try and foresee any stressors or life transitions coming up, i.e. job loss or change, moving to a different, etc. Life stressors can pull energy away from the therapeutic process you are about to engage in.
What Does CBT Therapy Look Like?
CBT is a more structured form of psychotherapy. It starts with a clinical case formulation to highlight areas to target. These targets include both cognitive and behavioral target areas (discussed more in-depth below). The case formulation will also detail a person’s history and life influencing events. Often with an emphasis on childhood development. This allows the CBT therapist to paint a ‘clinical picture’ of how your thoughts, assumptions, and core beliefs were formed over time and influence your actions. From there, you and your CBT therapist will create a treatment plan and start targeting different areas with CBT specific interventions.
What Two Areas Does CBT Focus On?
CBT’s interventions focus on two areas: cognitive and behavioral. These will be targeted simultaneously to support a decrease in mental health symptoms and increase one’s functioning.
Cognitive interventions will include:
- Gathering evidence to support or debunk assumptions
- Noticing cognitive distortions and how they impact your life
- Weighing evidence to formulate more accurate thoughts
On the other hand, CBT interventions will also target behaviors. For example, if a person feels depressed and lays in bed all day, this can contribute to feelings of loneliness and helplessness. If we reverse and encourage this person to leave their room and do something with a friend, we can reverse this cycle and have our actions influence our thoughts and mood.
CBT Therapist Near Me
To recap – CBT is a powerful, evidenced-based psychotherapy that can help decrease symptoms of mental illness and increase overall functioning. If you or someone you know struggles with mental health symptoms, reach out to see how working with a mental health therapist can help. Click here, or call us at 720.295.6703, to begin the recovery path!