What is Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)?
Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a form of therapy used for the psychological treatment of common mental and anxiety disorders.
Since the 1980’s, Cognitive Behavior Therapy or CBT, has been successfully used to treat individuals suffering from psychological problems, and assisting them in living healthy and fully functioning lives.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy is just as the name implies, a form of therapy that is used to treat cognitive areas of an individual’s well being,
and to change those cognitive areas in a way that will ultimately change an individual’s behavior.
Basis of CBT Therapy
The basis of this therapy is that underlying thoughts or thought processes, known as cognitions, are the source for dysfunctional or problematic behavior.
By altering one’s cognitions, it is hoped through CBT that an individual’s behavior will also be altered.
CBT suggests that psychological impairment or distress is caused when an individual experiences distorted thoughts that affect their behavior.
If for example an individual has an underlying fear or thought that squirrels will fall on them out of trees, they will avoid trees or walking near trees because they believe that this will increase the likelihood of a squirrel falling on top of them.
CBT will help this individual by training them to rid themselves of this fear of squirrels falling, in the hopes that this will ultimately change their behavior,
so that one can now successfully walk near trees without this fear or thought process.
CBT Treatment of Anxiety Disorders
CBT works to help people identify what the thought processes are that are creating fears that interfere with their daily lives.
It also functions to make an individual aware of the behaviors that are resulting from these faulty thought processes.
The ultimate task of CBT is to help an individual understand how the three elements of thoughts, behavior, and emotions relate with each other, and how these three elements are influenced by outside forces or earlier life events.
A therapist will work with an individual to assist them in coming to all of these realizations.
Because many anxiety disorders are the result of a myriad of underlying fears, CBT has been shown to be very successful in the treatment of a wide range of anxiety disorders.
Will cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety be effective?
Understanding the methodology behind this type of therapy is an important first step to answering this question.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Anxiety
Is therapy to break the cycle of wrong thinking. It gives a person back control, educates and changes the way certain patterns or way of life have been lived.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is founded on the premise that behaviors are responses to our own thoughts, rather than responses to external events.
Because thoughts are learned, we can isolate and unlearn our negative thoughts.
After we are able to establish a positive pattern of thinking, our negative reactions will stop.
Under the care of a professional therapist, cognitive behavioral therapy breaks down a big problem into smaller, more manageable problems.
This allows the patient and therapist to work together to resolve these smaller issues.
“CBT Training Centre in Manchester”
- Manchester Institute for Psychotherapy – Phone: +44 161 862 9456
- Manchester CBT Clinic – David Knight – Phone: +44 161 834 5888
- CBT Therapy Manchester – Phone: +44 7931 721637
- City Centre Therapy – Phone: +44 7811 843561
- Manchester Centre for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – Phone: +44 7981 353558
- Manchester Gestalt Centre – Phone: +44 161 257 2202
- Hartshead Cognitive Behaviour Therapy – Phone: +44 7484 713135
- Support 4 Progress – Phone: +44 161 868 0962
- Hampden House Psychotherapy Centre – Phone: +44 161 445 2099
- The South Manchester Centre For Psychotherapy – Phone: +44 161 432 9320
Jim is a hypochondriac. He deals with imaginary aches and pains on a daily basis.
He visits his doctor frequently with new symptoms for which the doctor can find no cause; nevertheless, Jim continues to be certain that he has a life threatening problem.
Jim puts a lot of time in on the internet, searching websites for more information about various symptoms and illnesses.
Jim and his CBT therapist would go through a process of isolating and articulating his negative thoughts, and then putting positive thoughts in their place.
Jim and his therapist might come up with this solution:
“The aches and pains are all in my mind.
I know my body is strong and healthy, because it has been fully checked out by my doctor.
Because I am confident of my good heath, I am really looking forward to getting back to active living.
I will let my pains go, because they are not in my body, but rather in my mind.
Instead of simply going home and going to bed, I intend to revel in my new found strength and vitality by going on an energetic walk.”
This illustrates the process of replacing negative with positive thoughts in order to modify behaviors, even though it is an extremely optimistic example.
It is easy to see that cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety does have potential to help sufferers.
CBT Trained Therapist
Working with a trained therapist is critical to the success of a CBT approach.
People who suffer from anxiety often hold onto their beliefs with a lot of conviction.
Trying new and more healthy ways of thinking is what the trained professional will be coaxing the patient to do.
This type of therapy would be extremely challenging were it not for that professional guidance.
So is there a self help way to do cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety?
Strictly speaking, no. But framing solutions much like CBT is an approach that is common with a number of self help options.
Such an approach includes:
- Identify negative thinking
- Acknowledge that perceived threats are in your mind — not real.
- Look for another approach to thinking that points to healthier behaviors.
As you are considering your self help options, it will be useful to understand the components of cognitive behavioral therapy.
Cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety can be expensive, so for this and many other reasons, a sufferer may want to select a self help option.
Options and Problems
Look for options that focus on the current problem (not options that delve into a person’s past) and for options that encourage the sufferer to move slowly and thoughtfully toward healthier mental patterns.
Neither CBT nor similar solutions are fast fixes.
Even though cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety takes time and effort, it is not as lengthy a process as some other forms of therapy.
With dedication and perseverance, cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety can and does work for many people.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Training
Cognitive behavioral therapy is without a doubt the most widely studied psychotherapy in the world, and in some cases it is possible to study it online,
over a 6-month to 2 year training program.
Other students, who have completed a course in cognitive behavioral therapy training, have stated high levels of satisfaction with the training, and the subsequent use of CBT interventions.
From recent studies it would seem that more than 90% of all CBT students attained at least an adequate level of skills.
Skills and Qualified People
Being that the areas of treatment can assist so many people in so many different situations, like self-esteem issues, bipolar, and relationship counseling, there is going to be a need for these skills and qualified people into the future.
Particularly now that we are all experiencing a world filled with stress and anxiety, with no real signs of it slowing down.
With the current trend towards managed care, there is a growing need for mental health service providers, for short-term, evidence based, cognitive behavioral therapy training.
Research and Study
(CBT) There is huge support for the efficacy of CBT for a wide range of disorders, and this is why we have seen a massive increase in the amount of research and study being conducted into this area of psychotherapy.
Subsequently there are now a number of cognitive behavior therapy training programs for mental health professionals, but there is always an ongoing need to ascertain whether they are effective.
This is so that we can ensure the ultimate use of resources made available.
In order to do this, various measuring techniques have been established to test and report the effectiveness of these and any future programs that are developed to help fight the condition.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Training Program
One such measurement is the actual level of competence that a course or program graduate can demonstrate.
This therapist competence is typically inferred from therapy results, and outcome studies, rather than being directly assessed within the cognitive behavioral therapy training program.
Of course in real terms, changes in patients is the preferred measuring stick for monitoring and reporting success from within each program,
although this is unreliable and insufficient because patient change can be attributed to any number of variables, not all resulting from the training course or therapist.
If however the overall effectiveness of programs is to be determined or measured by demonstrated competence levels of graduates,
a reasonable definition of competence should certainly be found.
Development of CBT
There has been a small but ever growing body of research developing over recent years that examines the development of CBT competence as a direct result of cognitive behavioral therapy training programs.
A large proportion of this research has focused on one or more of the known three areas of identified competence.
Training is designed to bring all students to a pre-defined competence level, resulting in varying amounts of input for each trainee.
These studies therefore, do not measure the effect of any standard training course or program, online or offline.
Personal Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Training
There are few people in the world who could not benefit from a better understanding of themselves.
While it is certainly not enough to begin practicing any sort of therapy on others, a personal program of cognitive behavioral therapy training can help us understand better why we think how we think and do as we do.
When studying cognitive behavioral therapy training, it is important to understand that this is an entire family of therapeutic methods and beliefs,
not a single unique method – there are several schools of thought and formal theories around CBT, and the process of learning your own way around it will likely touch on several of them.
Fundamental of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy)
The fundamental core of cognitive behavioral therapy is simply the notion that you can decide how you respond to what you think… that you are in charge of your body,
no matter what your brain may do, and that even when your brain reacts strangely or undesirably – it is only a part of your brain which is “misbehaving,” and another part can correct the behavior before you respond to it.
In essence, rather than simply do the first thing that comes to mind, you think a little longer before you act – predicting what is likely to happen,
and comparing that to your experience and history.
One of the more common mistakes people make is to predict a result when they have no history or experience that bears out the prediction.
With time, and effort, you can learn to make better and faster predictions… and, knowing the likely results of your actions, choose an approach that will improve those results.
While cognitive behavioral therapy training on your own will never replace the attention of a competent professional, minor issues can be easily resolved with a little work.