The Uses and Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The Uses and Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is the broad type of therapy that is often utilized to treat and alleviate a wide variety of different mental health conditions. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a style of talk-therapy that is done with a licensed mental health specialist that allows them to help their client pinpoint any negative or unwanted thought patterns and reframe their mindset and behaviors regarding them. CBT is arguably the most common and widely used form of therapy because it has shown to be so beneficial towards such a vast variety of mental health conditions. Anyone can benefit from CBT, though, whether there is a diagnosed mental illness present or not. Dr. Messina & Associates is a Southlake psychiatrist group that specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy and medication management to treat a wide variety of mental health concerns. We also provide psychological testing and evaluation to children, adolescents, and adults. 

 

When CBT is Useful

Cognitive behavioral therapy is able to assist in the healing process for a wide range of issues, from anxiety and depression to PTSD and eating disorders by changing the negative thought patterns that are present. CBT is typically the go-to method for those that are not able to take medications to manage the condition at hand, or it can work phenomenally in conjunction to various medications such as antidepressants. There are different subtypes of CBT, such as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), cognitive therapy, rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT), and multimodal therapy. All of these are able to isolate whatever the matter is at hand and really get to the specific thoughts and behaviors that may need altering. CBT is also great due to the fact that it is generally a shorter process than some other therapies, yet it is still able to produce massive benefits and a reduction of symptoms. Let’s discuss a few of the specific cases where cognitive behavioral therapy has shown to be remarkably useful:

Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are unfortunately a widespread issue in the world, but thankfully CBT has proven to be highly effective in treating them either with or without medical intervention. Therapists can help their clients understand the root of the issue and how to reframe the mindset that is actively worsening any anxiety.

Depression

When it comes to depressive disorders, CBT is certainly a useful tool in assisting in the treatment of them by focusing on the overall mood and identifying any harmful or negative behaviors that may be associated with it in an organized and regulated environment.

PTSD

CBT is incredibly useful in alleviating the prominent symptoms that may manifest in PTSD. Often, exposure to trauma is utilized when applying CBT in this scenario, but it is done in a highly structured and controlled way so that the individual can continue on the journey managing their PTSD more efficiently and healing.

Substance Use Disorders

Substance use disorders are not easy to navigate, but thankfully CBT has repeatedly shown to help those that are struggling with addiction in remarkable ways. CBT focuses on the management of the cycle of substance use and when used in conjunction with other therapies, it is highly effective in lessening the severity of this condition.

Eating Disorders

There are several different types of eating disorders, and thankfully CBT is a recognized and helpful treatment strategy for them. The various techniques that exist within CBT can work together in changing the mental processes and behaviors that lead to unhealthy eating patterns.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Lastly, the most valuable use of cognitive behavioral therapy is arguably for obsessive compulsive disorder. When someone is living with OCD, they have obsessive thoughts that turn into compulsive behaviors to cope with said thoughts. Exposure and ritual prevention is under the blanket of CBT that is most commonly used when it comes to treating OCD.

There are plenty of other disorders and circumstances where CBT can be advantageous. As it was said before, anyone can reap the benefits that come out of CBT. There does not need to be a diagnosed mental illness at hand, but CBT has absolutely shown time and time again to be helpful lessening the severity of so many different mental health conditions. A staggering number of people deal with negative thought patterns, emotions, and behaviors at some point in their lives, which is when CBT comes in handy and can be applied.

 

The Benefits of CBT

There are countless benefits that come with the process of cognitive behavioral therapy, and little to no risk of pursuing this style of treatment with a mental health professional. When CBT is used in combination with other treatments such as medication, immense healing and recovery is able to happen. Some benefits that might occur with cognitive behavioral therapy include but are not limited to an increase in the self-esteem, more positive thoughts overall, increased ability to communicate effectively, increased levels of mindfulness, enhanced coping skills, relapse prevention, and decreased anxiety. Most individuals find at least some level of relief from negative symptoms with just a few sessions of having CBT integrated into their lives, which is a truly phenomenal thing. Regular application of cognitive behavioral therapy over time will only improve all of these wonderful benefits more.

The discovery of all the things that CBT can do and provide for individuals is a beautiful thing, especially since it can help such a wide assortment of mental illnesses. It is imperative to remember that you are not defined by your thoughts or thought patterns, and there are fantastic tools and resources available out there that can significantly make a difference for those that are searching for it. The uses and benefits of CBT are practically boundless, and there is really nothing to lose; you will likely just gain a seriously heightened sense of self and a more positive perspective towards life and the world.

 

Getting Help

If you are looking to take the step towards a healthier mentality, we are ready to walk that journey with you. Our team of compassionate and skilled professionals is available for in person appointments for patients in the DFW area. We also offer online appointments for patients in the Austin, DFW, Houston and San Antonio areas.

 

References

https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/treatments/cognitive-behavioral-therapy

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/cognitive-behavioral-therapy/about/pac-20384610

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-cognitive-behavior-therapy-2795747

 

 

Author
Dr. Michael Messina

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