Have you been considering seeking out a counselor or therapist? Many people have elected to seek out mental health services and the stigma, while still present, is slowly dissipating. Mental health is becoming a more widely discussed topic.
Hundreds of millions of people battle mental health struggles. That doesn’t account for those who are undiagnosed or don’t seek treatment.
One common treatment style that works for many people is cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. If you’re working through a mental health struggle, CBT might be the answer for you. But what is it and who can benefit from it?
We’re here to answer some of your questions about cognitive behavioral therapy so you can make an informed decision about your care. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy that can be used to treat a variety of mental health conditions. It can be a replacement of or supplement to medication management.
It focuses on the idea that many mental health conditions are the result of or exacerbated by unhelpful thought patterns. Therapists who practice cognitive behavioral therapy aim to talk a patient out of those thought patterns and behaviors.
CBT also aims to teach coping mechanisms. Patients going through mental health struggles are better able to soothe themselves and think clearly.
Cognitive behavioral therapy techniques may include things like role play, physical calming exercises such as breathing techniques, mild exposure therapy, and talk therapy.
The goal of CBT is to encourage self-understanding, problem-solving skills, and confidence. It may also encourage better interpersonal relationships and conflict resolution.
Cognitive behavioral therapists will work with their clients to find the right solutions for them. Ideally, therapy will end with the client being able to coach and calm themselves without the help of the therapist.
Who Can Administer It?
Not all mental health professionals use Cognitive behavioral therapy in their practice. That said, it is a common form of talk therapy.
CBT requires training in changing thought patterns and behaviors. When you’re looking for a mental health professional who covers CBT in their practice, be sure to check the lists of services that each professional has on their personal websites or medical profiles.
Psychologists and psychiatrists (or psychiatric nurses) are capable of administering CBT. You’re more likely to find a psychologist who practices. Psychiatrists have a heavier focus on medication management and mental health diagnosis.
Who Benefits from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
CBT has the potential to help with a wide range of mental health conditions. Not everyone with one of these conditions is going to benefit. It’s a good starting point and a cognitive behavioral therapist may refer you to a different kind of therapist.
Conditions that can benefit from CBT include common mental health struggles such as:
- anger problems
- eating disorders
These are all things that revolve around harmful thought patterns and destructive behaviors.
It can also help with less common but serious mental health conditions. These include:
- borderline personality disorder
- histrionic personality disorder
- bipolar disorder
- post-traumatic stress disorder.
While it isn’t specifically geared towards trauma-related conditions, it can be used for them. The focus on rewiring though negative thoughts can be used in a trauma-informed way.
In other words, CBT is a good starting point. It helps with almost any mental health condition, even if it’s used in conjunction with other forms of therapy or medication.
Does It Work?
Cognitive behavioral therapy is shown to be more effective than many other forms of therapy and treatment for nearly every mental health condition that it covers.
It has promising results for both the short term and the long term. This means patients are able to manage their mental health conditions without the use of CBT after treatment.
CBT encourages patients to coach themselves. It tends to lead towards these patients leading more independent lives.
CBT is safe. It doesn’t have the potential side effects of psychiatric medications. These medications may not be necessary for the patient’s conditions once they learn how to restructure their thoughts.
For CBT to be effective, patients must be willing to change. Even if a patient willingly sought out the therapy, many of them aren’t ready to restructure their thoughts and behaviors.
Some patients can develop this willingness to change over time under the instruction of their therapists. Others struggle.
How Can I Know If CBT Is Right for Me?
If you’re suffering from a mental health struggle, whether it’s short term or long term, cognitive behavioral therapy is a good choice. It’s effective and many therapists practice it.
While it doesn’t work for everyone, cognitive behavioral therapists will work one-on-one with you to develop a treatment plan that will be as effective as possible. The plan may change over time based on your needs.
If CBT doesn’t work for you, there’s no shame in finding a new form of treatment. Many cognitive behavioral therapists will be able to determine what form of treatment is best based on your reactions to their own methods.
Are You Seeking Out Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Seeking out treatment is the first step towards recovery, and you should be proud of yourself for taking it. Many people managing their mental health never seek treatment.
If you’re trying to manage your mental health and you’re ready to start your healing process, cognitive behavioral therapy might be the answer that you’re looking for.
To find a cognitive behavioral therapist in Wilmington, North Carolina who’s empathetic and ready to help you heal, visit our site. It’s time to get started on your healing journey.