How Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Can Help With Mental Illness


Posted on: 15 May 2017 by Jason Lares

Basic introduction to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and how it may help control and treat certain mental disorders.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a form of talking therapy that focuses on your thoughts and attitudes by analysing how they make you feel, think, and act. As a result of talking about these, it offers the chance to learn various coping methods with any issues you may have.

CBT is regarded as an effective form of treatment for many different metal illnesses, such as anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), eating disorders, insomnia, and even post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Concept Behind CBT

The treatment uses a combination of cognitive therapy, which examines what we think, and behaviour therapy, which examines what we do. It is based around the idea that your thoughts, feelings, and actions are all closely connected; meaning negative thoughts and feelings can leave you in a highly negative mental state and cycle.

For instance, if you are to view any given situation with negative thoughts, then it can result in negative feelings, which in turn lead to negative behaviour. Such an attitude often affects how you feel with your career, school, or life in general.

Should such a mindset continue unchecked throughout your life, you can spiral into a continuous pattern where negative feelings, thoughts and behaviour become part of an ongoing, vicious cycle that is hard to escape.

How CBT Works

When involved in CBT, a therapist looks to discover the route of your negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviours to help you deal with them in a positive manner.

This is done by dissecting each problem area you are dealing with and showing how you can change them to help make you feel better and escape continuous negative patterns.

In doing so, CBT can offer practical advice on how to change your state of mind for the better, with the goal of helping you to better manage day-to-day problems.

This is no quick fix; patients require time, patience and the desire to help themselves. The therapist merely helps to identify problems and offer advice on how to use CBT techniques to treat them. The patient must take everything they have learned and apply it to their own lives to truly eliminate the problems they face.

Typically, a CBT session will last from 30 minutes to an hour, with anywhere from five to 20 sessions (which can be as an individual one-on-one session or as part of a group) recommended for successful treatment. Once completed, the patient will be better prepared on how to deal with negative thoughts and feelings to help them avoid falling into another negative cycle.

What CBT Can Help With

One of the main advantages of CBT is that it can be tailored to suit almost any individual. As a flexible form of therapy, a large number of mental health conditions can be effectively treated with CBT, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • OCD
  • PTSD
  • Phobias
  • Panic Attacks
  • Eating Disorders
  • Alcohol and Drug Abuse
  • Anger Issues
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sleep Problems

* This article was contributed by Jason Lares from the Men's & Mental Health Resource Center – Jason is passionate about natural remedies for the mind and body, and he has written articles and reviews on many topics related to mental and physical health for men and women.

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