Saturday, December 14, 2013

What Is CBT?

What is CBT?
CBT, or cognitive behavioural therapy is a psychotherapeutic e.g. (treatment) approach to helping people fix emotional, cognitive and behavioural dysfunctions. A trained medical professional helps a patient to restore their quality of life using CBT, to change a patients thought processes, coping responses and behaviours.

How does CBT work?
CBT works by replacing undesirable thinking patterns with patterns of thinking that help the individual to cope with their problems. Thinking patterns such as over generalisation, magnifying negative thinking, and minimising positives are all examples of destructive thought patterns.

What techniques does CBT use:
CBT practitioners use a number of techniques:
Exposure and response reduction therapy - exposure to a stressor such as dirt in an individual that fears dirt, and then helping them to manage that stress response. This is relevant to people with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Stress inoculation (meaning that the individual is more resilient to stress)
Cognitive therapy (therapy aimed at memory, thinking skills, problem solving and decision making)
Acceptance and commitment therapy

The process of undertaking CBT:
1. Assessment - A qualified medical professional prescribes an examination to determine the best treatment plan.
2. Conceptualisation - re-framing the problem issues in a different way.
3. Learning new skills such as self-talk, exposure response, relaxation techniques and minimising negative thinking.
4. Skills consolidation and application training - Learning to apply the skills in practise and then using them in the real world. E.g.: talking to a stranger or attending a social event.
5. Generalisation and maintenance
6. Post-treatment assessment follow-up

What disorders does CBT treat?
Depression, anxiety, body issues, mood, personality and psychotic disorders, eating disorders, personality disorders, psychosis, substance abuse, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post traumatic stress disorder.

Who would benefit from CBT?
All people of different races, genders and ages can benefit from CBT.

How does CBT relate to depression
CBT is one of a number of effective treatments for clinical depression. It is used to change the negative views that depressed individuals have created for themselves during childhood as a response to stressful life events. These individuals benefit greatly from CBT, because it addresses these negative mechanisms and helps to adjust the thinking so that patient can return to healthy, positive and adaptive thinking.

CBT and anxiety disorders
CBT has been widely documented to help all anxiety disorders.

What happens during CBT?
CBT is undertaken with the help of a qualified medical professional such as a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist.

Why should you use CBT?
CBT is an approach to restoring people to positive psychological states of well-being. The obvious benefit of doing this is the restored quality of life that will be enjoyed by the individual seeking treatment. Quality of life will be reflected in improved self-esteem, less stress, better coping mechanisms, improved social skills and better work performance.

When is the best time to use CBT?
CBT can be used at any time that symptoms of mood disorders, personality disorders, mental illness, substance abuse or generally unwanted psychological states of distress are noticed.

CBT is a non-invasive, non-medication form of therapy that aims to help an individual change negative belief systems, problem behaviours and destructive ways of dealing with mental issues. With the help of a trained medical professional, CBT can be used to help with any number of mental illnesses and help restore an individuals quality of life.

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