To those who aren’t familiar with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), it might sound like something of a mouthful or like it has its language altogether. But once you understand the concepts behind it, you’ll see why this particular type of therapy has become so popular and widely used by psychologists and other mental health specialists to treat psychological issues in their patients and clients. CBT isn’t just effective; it also boasts some significant benefits that make it ideal for psychological treatment. Here are 6 of those benefits.
Provides a multi-faceted approach
While you may not have a formal diagnosis, cognitive behavioral therapy can help with everyday issues such as stress, anxiety, and mood swings. These issues are often interrelated, meaning a one-dimensional approach (like taking medication) won’t be ideal in helping you move past these issues. Instead, CBT will take a multi-faceted approach to determine where these issues come from and how they manifest themselves throughout your life.
CBT will help you learn how to better deal with stressors so that they don’t cause further problems down the line. It’s more beneficial if you’re looking at long-term therapy – it gives you tools that can last a lifetime rather than just treating an immediate issue. CBT goes beyond changing how you think about things and looks at how thoughts influence emotions, influencing actions and behaviors.
Works well with other forms of therapy
One of the most significant benefits of CBT therapy is that it works well with other forms of treatment. While antidepressants and other behavioral medicines might not work so well together, CBT can be a powerful complement to these treatments.
For example, patients might use antidepressants to manage depression while using CBT techniques and exercises to get them out of their rut. The result? A happier, healthier person who feels more confident about life in general. CBT works well alone, but if your specialist sees the need to combine it with other effective therapies, CBT is synergic with most types of treatment.
Offers effective treatment for a wide range of conditions
When dealing with professionals, cognitive-behavioral therapy can be an effective treatment for a wide range of psychological issues. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) lists depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and PTSD as some of CBT’s most common uses. There are many other conditions that CBT can help treat as well; it all depends on your specific needs and what works best for you.
The ability of CBT to treat a wide range of conditions helps make it one of the most sought-after forms of psychotherapy in today’s world. CBT is probably suitable for you if you want something that can work with various mental health issues. Consequently, it will save you time and money by only requiring a single form of treatment rather than multiple treatments that may not have any effect.
Provides long-lasting results
You might have tried several different types of therapy before without any lasting results, and while CBT doesn’t work for everyone, it has a reputation for being one of the most effective forms of psychotherapy available today. If you try CBT with a trained professional who specializes in these techniques, the chances are good that you will see long-lasting results from your efforts. CBT works by helping you change negative thought patterns and behaviors so that they become positive over time.
By targeting specific areas where you need improvement, CBT can help create sustainable change in your life over time. For example, suppose you suffer from depression and anxiety due to traumatic events in your past. In that case, CBT can help rewire your brain to stop thinking negatively about yourself and start seeing yourself as someone worthy of love and belonging. Even better, you can learn to take care of yourself using self-help strategies with CBT techniques.
Can help reduce symptoms associated with co-occurring mental health problems
There is a correlation between other mental health problems and mood issues. These co-occurring conditions are often even more challenging to treat than either one alone. CBT can help reduce symptoms associated with these other mental health issues and general anxiety disorder symptoms. For example, CBT is effective in treating both depression and alcoholism. It’s also effective at treating anxiety disorders in patients with schizophrenia.
Additionally, professionals consider CBT an evidence-based treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). That means there’s solid research backing up its effectiveness. CBT will also help alleviate physical symptoms related to psychological problems, such as headaches or stomachaches.
CBT is non-pharmacological
Whether you’re suffering from depression, anxiety, or an addiction, CBT is non-pharmacological. It means that it doesn’t involve taking medication or relying on drugs to help you change your way of thinking. Instead, CBT helps rewire your brain through talk therapy, which can be more effective than a pill in changing your thought process. By treating underlying causes instead of symptoms, a patient can feel being in more control over their well-being and overall health.
While some people may prefer pharmacological treatment (medication), many others would instead work on understanding how their mind works to prevent or alleviate these conditions altogether. For example, if someone suffers from depression, results prove that CBT psychotherapy has higher success rates than antidepressant medications. With drug treatments, there’s always a risk of relapse. However, with cognitive behavioral therapy, one session could result in positive, permanent changes to one’s lifestyle.
The benefits of CBT are numerous, but it’s important to remember that you should always put it into practice with a trained CBT therapist. Whether you’re dealing with phobias, eating disorders, or any other psychological condition, working with a CBT professional can help make sure your treatment is effective and doesn’t cause unwanted side effects. There’s no reason not to give CBT a try with so many benefits if you’re struggling with anxiety or depression.
Adam Mulligan did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.