What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy & Its Effectiveness

Wanda Rice

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most frequently practiced psychotherapy health treatment forms among therapists and psychologists. CBT takes the patients’ thoughts and behaviors as their primary focus, and it involves assisting patients to achieve desired outcomes by changing their thought patterns and behavior. Particular forms of therapy can be considered CBT depending on the patient’s needs and how counselors implement them.

How CBT Works

CBT starts with a therapist learning about the purpose of your visit. Mostly, it will be some undesirable symptoms that you experience daily. The symptoms you experience may include high-stress levels, panic attacks, sadness, or even bodily symptoms such as headaches and fatigue. Your therapist will analyze and discover what problems you are dealing with and comprehend your reasons for seeking therapy.

Afterward, the therapist develops a treatment plan to instruct you on the journey to feeling better. Getting a better plan will involve sessions in which the therapist helps you learn about the problems you face and the root cognitive and behavioral causes of such issues. Following these sessions, you will frequently be given homework assignments to work on. Homework is seen to improve the positive results you want significantly. Homework should thus be taken very seriously.

Throughout the process of cognitive-behavioral therapy, one becomes more in tune with how your thoughts and actions have an impact on your mental health. Therefore, it places you in a better place to stop negative thoughts and habits before they start to feel normal. With some work and help from your therapist, CBT helps you establish healthier thoughts and behaviors in place of the harmful ones that often cause unpleasant symptoms.

Effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Many studies that aim to assess the field’s overall research have found CBT is either the most effective form of treatment or one of the most effective ways of treatment for numerous different psychological problems. The following is a list of psychological issues treated best using CBT:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • panic disorder, social anxiety disorder
  • sleep disorders

Moreover, cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the best treatments available for anxiety, anger, depression, and eating disorders, according to Dobson and Dobson.

Among the therapy types used in the psychological field, cognitive behavioral therapy is uniquely useful in short to mid-term periods. Additionally, CBT uses practical techniques that are easier to test empirically than other forms of treatment techniques. This has led to the multitudes of research showing the efficacy of CBT techniques. Experts in the field have determined which approaches yield the most favorable results based on the situation.

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