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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Who Can Benefit? Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy right for you? Greater Denver Area Kaiser Therapist

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Who Can Benefit? Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy right for you? Greater Denver Area Kaiser Therapist

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Who Can Benefit?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a commonly used, evidence-based practice that’s employed to treat mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. While perhaps not for everyone, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (or “CBT”) treatment has proven effective for a number of individuals who wish to change irrational and/or negative patterns in their cognitions by attempting to regulate their thoughts, feelings and behavior. The idea is that by influencing one of these three self-monitored functions, the rest will be affected.

CBT Approach vs. Other Psychotherapy

CBT presents a significant departure from traditional psychotherapy, wherein a therapist might use a psychoanalytic approach with an individual by searching for unconscious meaning behind certain beliefs and behaviors and making a diagnosis from there. Instead, CBT is action and problem based methodology, focusing primarily on coping strategies to treat specific issues. The argument can be made that CBT is less about self-reflection and more about learned solutions – the therapist’s job is to help you discover and utilize effective practices that will both combat your symptoms and also achieve specific goals of your therapy.

Cognitive Distortions and Restructuring

The devaluation of cognitive distortion is a key element to a mental health expert’s approach to CBT. This type of thought pattern is described as a system of beliefs that isn’t based in reality, as well as exaggerated, irrational thinking. These distortions can create negative feelings and an unfavorable outlook on the world, likely leading to distressed mental states, emotional dysfunction and continued depression/anxiety. Through the use of cognitive restructuring (or “CR”), a therapist can help guide you toward having a more rational, realistic reaction to a stressful situation. CR is designed to eliminate the automatic thoughts that occur in a cognitive distortion and instead provide you with the feeling of being in control. By changing your behavior, CBT therapy is meant to reduce your negative perceptions and subsequently lead to a positive impact on your attitudes, beliefs and overall mental health. It is easy to find and schedule an appointment with one of our therapists and counselors that specialize in CBT. Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy right for you Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that’s recommended for individuals suffering from mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. In recent years, the popularity of this therapy has exploded around the world. However, the popularity has also come at a cost. In today’s times, the demand for CBT is high, but very few people ever really question if CBT is right for them. In this article, we’ll take you through how CBT works and how to know whether it’s a type of therapy that caters to your needs.

CBT – how does it work and what are its benefits?

CBT involves attending sessions that are supervised by a mental health counselor. During the sessions, the mental health counselor will help you to identify negative thoughts. The aim of CBT is simple – to change your way of thinking so that your perception of and response to challenging situations are proactive and not reactive.
CBT’s benefits can address not just anxiety and depression, but several other conditions as well, such as:

  1. Phobias
  2. Eating disorders
  3. Sleep disorders
  4. Substance use disorders
  5. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  6. Sexual disorders
  7. Schizophrenia
  8. Bipolar disorders

In terms of addressing emotional challenges, here are all the ways in which CBT can help you:

  1. To manage mental illness symptoms
  2. To manage and/or treat mental illnesses if medications are ineffective
  3. To prevent relapses of symptoms associated with mental illnesses
  4. To find ways of managing emotions
  5. To learn a variety of techniques to cope with stressful situations in life
  6. To cope with loss or grief
  7. To learn more effective communication methods for resolving conflicts in relationships
  8. To cope with medical illnesses
  9. To manage emotional trauma caused by long-term violence or abuse
  10. To manage chronic symptoms of physical illnesses

Are there any risks associated with CBT?
Some CBT sessions may be emotionally draining and/or overwhelming, as they would involve exploring numerous negative thoughts. Feeling angry, upset or even crying when talking about painful experiences, emotions and/or feelings during these sessions are likely to be uncomfortable. However, in the long run, these sessions will help you overcome your negative thinking. So, all in all, the risks associated with CBT are negligible. When CBT is aimed towards managing and/or treating phobias, a form of CBT known as exposure therapy may be introduced. Exposure therapy would require you to face situations that you tend to avoid. For instance, if you have an unreasonable fear of heights (acrophobia), exposure therapy would place you at a height to expose you to your fear. Initially, exposure therapy may trigger panic attacks. However, as all forms of CBT are conducted by skilled counselors and therapists, the risks of even the most challenging therapies are minimal.

How much time does it take to complete CBT?
CBT typically involves attending sessions for several weeks – months. There’s no fixed timeline as different individuals have different needs, and each session is tailored to address specific issues. If the issues to be addressed through CBT are severe, it’s likely that there will be more sessions. However, the approach taken in CBT by the counselor or therapist is typically centered around an individual’s current behaviors and thoughts and not on the reasons why they are the way they are. For instance, if you have a fear of flying, CBT won’t do much in terms of why you have that fear. However, it will do a lot to reduce the fear.

So is CBT right for you?
Despite CBT’s potential benefits, it may not be right for someone who wants a deeper understanding of symptoms of mental illnesses. It’s a practice and direct form of therapy, so those expecting a relational approach are likely to be disappointed. If you’re someone who wants to know the root causes of psychological issues, you might be better suited for psychodynamic therapy. However, in today’s times, most CBT experts are incredibly flexible and they can tailor the sessions to suit your needs. So, even if your situation is more apt for psychodynamic therapy, there’s still a lot of positives that CBT can do for you. Ultimately, if you want to know whether or not CBT suits you, it’s best to start the therapy and do a few sessions. This will give you the time to figure out if CBT is making any positive difference for you. If the effects of CBT aren’t what you’re looking for, you can always stop attending the sessions and seek alternative treatment and/or therapy that’s a better fit for your specific issues. Nowadays, CBT is also being offered in the form of online therapy, which is a more convenient option for those who are constantly on the move. In insurance terms, CBT is classified as psychotherapy. So, even if you opt for CBT, most of your expenses will be covered by health insurance packages like Kaiser in the Greater Denver Area. Click the link to find Kaiser Cognitive Behavioral Therapist

Cognitive therapy & schema

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A schema in psychology is a cognitive thought pattern or behavior that helps organize and decipher different categories of information we receive from our external world. It can be explained as a mental structure of pre-existing ideas and beliefs, a psychological framework that represents different aspects of the external world and defines the relationship between them. People develop schemas about almost everything– themselves, others, food, mechanical devices, career, etc. Schemas have a significant role in shaping our likes and dislikes, interpretation power, decision-making and actions. Schemas function like filters, intensifying and reducing the significance of different elements. It helps us classify different things and encode memories.

Changing Schemas

Schemas are adjusted or changed in two processes known as assimilation and accommodation. In the assimilation process, new information is integrated with pre-existing and preconceived schemas. In the accommodation process, existing schemas might change or new schemas might form as a person gets new experiences and learns new information. Once a schema is accepted, people strive to sustain it. Everyone seems to develop their favorite schema and use it repetitively, thus reinforcing neural pathways in the brain. Such people will use these schemas first while interpreting the world before moving on to other schemas if the existing ones do not fit in well. The problem with schemas, however, is their ability to hinder people’s learning, leading to prejudice, stereotypes and gender expectations.

Types of Schemas

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Psychologists have identified the following types of schemas:

  1. Person schemas relating to individual people.
  2. Social schemas relating to the society at large.
  3. Prototypes, which are idealized person schemas.
  4. Self-schemas relating to oneself.
  5. Event schemas relating to what happens in specific situations.
  6. Trait schemas relating to innate traits of people.
  7. Role schemas relating to behaviors in certain situations.
  8. Object schemas relating to inanimate objects

A person could also develop schemas after a traumatic event, which may warp a person’s perception of the world. Such patterns are unhealthy and may require professional help from a cognitive therapist. Click the link to reach a Kaiser therapist in the greater Denver Area

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