CBT: The Very Basics

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a common treatment style for substance abuse, addiction and co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders. It examines the connections between one’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors so patients can modify self-destructive thought-processes and coping mechanisms. Seek help to determine if this treatment option is the right choice for you.

What Happens During CBT?

CBT has patients collaborate with therapists or a group of people to discuss their thoughts, emotions and actions related to specific situations. It often involves homework where patients journal about their problems and how they cope with them. Therapy sessions will break down these issues and help patients understand why they felt and behaved in the manner that they did. CBT is goal-oriented, so the therapist will have patients practice modifying thought-processes.

CBT is a lengthy process: it can take anywhere from six weeks to a year, because modifying one’s thoughts takes more than a few conversations. People must first identify their negative thought patterns that influence negative emotions and self-destructive behavior. Eventually patients work to implement positive thought-processes that influence healthy coping skills. CBT helps people identify new ways of thinking so they can deal with problems on their own.

What Conditions Does CBT Address?

CBT is evidence-based treatment that can treat the following conditions:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • Addiction
  • Sleep problems
  • Phobias
  • Chronic disease or chronic pain
  • Codependency
  • Poor self-esteem

If you struggle with any of these issues, then CBT may help you get and stay well.

Specific Benefits of CBT

The benefits of CBT are well documented, whether the therapy is the sole form of treatment, or if it buttresses other therapies. It is so beneficial, because people can apply its lessons immediately and directly to their lives. In other words, patients can quickly see the progress they are making.

The duration of treatment varies depending on the condition, its severity and other circumstances. That being said, many professionals praise the timeliness of CBT. On average, patients end therapy after about 16-25 sessions, which many therapists consider a fast-turnaround.

CBT can treat specific conditions, but it will influence every aspect of life. It can transform someone’s thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and perspective; the benefits of CBT can be life-long, and they can significantly improve relationships, wellbeing and quality of life. Patients find that this treatment boosts self-awareness, self-esteem and confidence. When people experience a negative perspective, they are likely to exhibit negative behavior due to their ill emotions, so changing these interpretations can change the way you experience life.

Learn More About CBT and Where You Can Find Treatment

If you would like to learn more about CBT, then call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline. Our admissions coordinators will listen to your concerns, answer your questions and provide all the information you need about CBT and other treatment options. If you want to find a therapist or other treatment program, they can connect you with treatment services all across the US, and they would be happy to help you find the options that work for you.

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