The Many Benefits of Cognitive-behavioral Therapy

There are many benefits of cognitive-behavioral therapy. Suppose you met the partner of your dreams today. You think about them all day and with each thought, you feel happy and excited. Eventually, you think about them so much you decide to send them a message and ask them on a date.

Now suppose you have been married for years. A recent argument over finances ended with your partner saying some very hurtful things to you. You have been reliving that moment in your thoughts. To cope with the stress your thoughts are creating, you decide to go to a bar for a drink. 

As you can see, what you think influences how you feel. And your feelings influence how you react or behave. Thoughts are like the first domino that leads to the falling of other dominoes represented by Cognitive-behavioral therapy your feelings and actions.

What if you could learn how to change those initial negative thoughts into positive ones to produce healthy responses? Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) does exactly that.

In this article, we’re exploring the many benefits of cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Benefits of Cognitive-behavioral Therapy

So, what are the benefits of cognitive-behavioral therapy, and what is cognitive-behavioral therapy anyway? Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a form of talk therapy in which you work with a therapist either individually or in a group to learn how your thoughts and behaviors are connected. It is both a psychological and social technique that helps you reduce mental health symptoms that are causing a disturbance in your life.

For example, if you have anxiety associated with work, you may not be able to complete projects or may find ways to skip work. CBT can help you figure out the source of the anxiety and if your thoughts are realistic. If not, you work to change your thoughts to fit the circumstances rationally. 

Here are the many benefits of cognitive-behavioral therapy. 

Multiple Types of CBT

There are no one-size-fits-all treatments for mental health. Fortunately, cognitive behavioral therapy has many sub-types that can be adapted to meet unique needs. Mindfulness-based therapy (MBT) is a form of CBT that uses techniques like meditation and yoga to treat anxiety and depression to help someone be present and aware of their needs.

Dialectical-behavioral therapy (DBT) is a form of CBT that helps with addiction, mood disorders, and personality disorders. It also helps those who may have thoughts of self-harm. DBT is used to improve relationships, regulate emotions, and improve coping skills.

Commitment and acceptance therapy (ACT), contingency management, and reactive emotive behavior therapy (REBT) are more types of CBT.

CBT Works in Various Settings

Some therapies are best used in one-on-one counseling. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, however, can be used in individual therapy, group counseling, and family therapy. There is even recent research that shows CBT is effective in telehealth services and when used in digital apps and programs. This is one of the many benefits of cognitive-behavioral therapy.

CBT Can Be Used with All Age Groups

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is the preferred method of treatment for counselors working with kids, adolescents, and adults. When working with children, CBT best helps issues like eating disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, self-esteem, bedwetting, oppositional defiant disorder, tic disorders, bullying, and drug and alcohol misuse. 

When working with adults, CBT can be adapted to treat most mental health issues. Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide reports CBT is effective with anxiety, post-traumatic stress, depression, personality, and substance use disorders. Interestingly, in all age groups, CBT was found a highly effective treatment for chronic pain.

CBT Success is Evidence-Based

Hundreds of studies have been conducted on the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy. It has been challenged against placebos, controlled groups, and other types of therapy. In each study, CBT was found to be more effective than other approaches. The benefits of cognitive-behavioral therapy can be seen across a wide range of mental conditions.

CBT Puts You In Charge

Many people go to therapy thinking the therapist will tell them exactly what to do, how to feel, and how to move forward. And some therapists do. However, it does not benefit you to follow instructions on how to solve a problem in your life.

CBT helps you help yourself. You are given an equation that you can apply to problem situations to find a solution that is realistic and achievable. There is no better person who can resolve your conflicts than you.

Numerous CBT Activities Available

Therapists are never at a loss for an activity or project geared specifically for mental health treatment. One of the many benefits of cognitive-behavioral therapy involves the variety of activities available to explore with patients.

Cognitive-behavioral techniques include the following examples:

  • Journal writing

Assigning journal work in therapy means your therapist will tell you the topic or the style or both and you will have the time between sessions to complete the task. One journal assignment may be freestyle writing where there are no rules. Another journal entry may involve a question-and-answer format. The key to successful journaling is honesty. Don’t hold back on your thoughts and feelings. There are no right or wrong journal entries.

  • Problem Solving Steps

As mentioned, there is a specific equation for resolving problems with cognitive behavioral therapy. You and your therapist can work through a problem by following a five-step process. Step one is to identify the problem. Step two, write down all possible solutions, good and bad, realistic and unrealistic. Step three, determine which solution is the best. Step four, choose the best solution. Final steps, implement your chosen solution.

  • 3 Minute Breathing

This cognitive-behavioral therapy activity helps you focus. Each step of three-minute breathing should take one minute. The first step is to sit quietly, take deep breaths, and observe your surroundings. Focus on relaxing and clearing your mind. Step two is to shift focus to your breathing. Pay attention to how you breathe in and out and what happens to your body. Finally, shift focus to areas of the body that are signaling you for attention. 

Pains, tingles, soreness, and other sensations. Discover what is needed in that area, if anything. For example, if you have pain in your stomach, figure out if it is hunger pain, muscle ache, digestive problem, etc. Then, plan to take care of the sensation, which can range from eating a healthy snack to visiting a doctor.

Where to Get CBT?

Now that you know about the benefits of cognitive-behavioral therapy, you may be interested in exploring this form of therapy. Mental health therapists, like the one at the Mental Health Center, are licensed and trained to provide cognitive-behavioral therapy. All you have to do is call and make an appointment, something you can do today. You won’t regret it.