Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
In a world where stress levels are drastically increasing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is becoming a widely accepted form of treatment. According to the American Psychological Association, over 40% of Americans reported feeling great stress in 2022, and almost 30% reported extreme stress. Over 70 percent of Americans are concerned about the future of inflation, with more than half of those surveyed saying they are "very concerned." This raises the number of people seeking assistance from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?
CBT is a type of psychotherapy that examines how thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are connected. It's based on the fact that our thoughts and beliefs shape our emotions and behavior. CBT was introduced in the 1960s by Aaron Beck, a psychiatrist, and further refined by Albert Ellis and other cognitive therapists.
In CBT, the therapist and patient work together to identify negative thinking patterns and how they affect the patient's behavior. This ability of CBT to identify and change negative behaviors makes this treatment effective at treating conditions such as depression. People with depression often deal with a wide range of negative thoughts and emotions, causing them to live in a state of sadness, helplessness, and hopelessness. The patient learns to challenge and replace distorted beliefs with more realistic and positive thoughts through cognitive restructuring. The therapist also helps the patient develop coping strategies to manage difficult emotions and situations. CBT focuses on the present rather than the past, and the patient is encouraged to take an active role in their therapy, which can help them gain insight into their thoughts and behaviors. Take back control of your life by reaching out to us at Mile High Psychology, and let us help you take the first step toward change.
What Can CBT Treat?
Depression, being one of the leading mental health concerns in the United States, is a treatable condition that affects millions of Americans. CBT is a form of psychotherapy that has been proven effective in treating depression.
CBT involves identifying and challenging distorted thoughts and beliefs that contribute to a person's depression and replacing them with more realistic ones. CBT also encourages using positive behaviors and activities to help reduce symptoms of depression.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is typically best done with a psychologist. Mile High Psychology can provide that help in person or online. It's important to note that CBT is not a "quick fix" and can take several weeks or months to improve significantly.
According to the American Psychological Association, approximately 70-80% of individuals who receive CBT for depression experience a significant reduction in their symptoms. Furthermore, a National Institute of Mental Health study found that CBT was more effective than antidepressant medication in treating depression.
Another area of concern is the treatment of anxiety. In most cases, this condition manifests as a rapid heart rate, muscle tension, and shortness of breath. People with anxiety also often deal with emotional symptoms, such as fear and worry. CBT works by helping a person identify and challenge their irrational thoughts and beliefs and replace them with more realistic and helpful ones. Additionally, CBT focuses on helping a person build self-esteem and coping skills and developing skills to manage anxiety.
The process of CBT begins with an initial assessment, which includes an evaluation of the person's symptoms and a discussion of their goals for therapy. During this assessment, the therapist will help the person identify irrational thoughts and beliefs and develop an individualized treatment plan.
Once the initial assessment is complete, the therapist will work with the client to introduce new coping skills and thought patterns to replace their irrational ones. This is done through various techniques, such as cognitive restructuring, exposure therapy, and relaxation techniques. These techniques help the person learn to recognize and challenge their irrational thoughts and beliefs and replace them with more realistic and helpful ones.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy aims to help people realize their thoughts and feelings and learn how to manage their anxiety healthily. Research has shown that CBT is effective in treating anxiety, with an estimated 60-90% of people with anxiety responding positively. Additionally, a study of the American population found that CBT effectively reduced anxiety symptoms in over 75% of participants.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Another condition that has been successfully treated with CBT is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is an anxiety disorder that occurs after exposure to a traumatic event. CBT is particularly beneficial for PTSD because it focuses on helping individuals understand how their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are connected and how these connections can help them cope with their symptoms.
CBT can help individuals identify and challenge their unhelpful thoughts and beliefs related to the trauma, learn how to manage the physical and emotional reactions that arise when they are reminded of the trauma, and reduce the avoidance of situations and activities that bring up memories of the trauma. In addition, CBT can help individuals develop problem-solving and coping skills and increase their sense of control and mastery over their symptoms.
Bipolar disorder is another name for manic-depressive disorder, a mental health disorder characterized by extreme shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a specialized form of psychotherapy well-suited for treating bipolar disorder. CBT focuses on identifying and changing unhealthy patterns of thinking and behavior to help people manage their symptoms.
Through this approach, people with bipolar disorder can learn to recognize their triggers and develop coping strategies to manage their distress better. CBT also teaches people to identify their strengths and to reframe their negative thoughts in a healthier, more positive way. This helps people with bipolar disorder become more resilient in difficult situations and take more effective action to improve their overall well-being.
Techniques Used In CBT Treatment
Various techniques are used in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) at Mile High Psychology. These include:
Cognitive restructuring is a technique used in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to help clients identify and change problematic thinking patterns. It involves identifying, questioning, and challenging harmful or inaccurate beliefs and replacing them with new, more adaptive ones.
This technique teaches clients to recognize, evaluate, and modify their thinking patterns to reduce their emotional distress and improve their functioning. It can help clients to gain insight into their thoughts and behaviors and to create new, more helpful ways of thinking and responding.
Exposure therapy involves gradually exposing the patient to the fear or situation they are trying to overcome. It's based on the idea that by repeatedly confronting whatever the patient fears, they can learn to cope with and manage the fear and eventually overcome it. The patient usually begins by imagining the fear or situation and then gradually moves up to more complicated scenarios as the therapy progresses. By doing this, the patient can learn to better manage their emotions and reactions to the fear or situation until they can cope in a healthy, productive way.
Guided discovery is used in cognitive behavioral therapy to help clients examine their thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and beliefs. Guided discovery aims to help clients understand the connections between their thoughts, feelings, and behavior and the underlying opinions influencing their behavior.
This process encourages clients to explore the evidence for and against their beliefs and come to more balanced and healthy conclusions. Guided discovery can help clients identify and modify unhealthy behavior patterns and develop adaptive skills for managing stress and improving functioning.
This technique helps clients reduce their physical and emotional distress by practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery.
This technique helps clients identify and develop effective strategies for addressing their problems.
This technique helps clients learn to communicate their needs clearly and confidently.
This technique helps clients learn to pay attention to the present without judgment. The goal is to help clients become more aware of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
CBT with Mile High Psychology
Starting your therapy journey can be intimidating and overwhelming. At Mile High Psychology, we strive to make this process as easy and comfortable as possible. Our experienced and knowledgeable therapists are here to help you explore your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in a safe and supportive environment. We offer various additional services, including acceptance and commitment Therapy (ACT), Brief Psychodynamic Therapy (BPT), couples therapy, online or in person. As the best psychologists in Denver and Colorado Springs CO, don't hesitate to contact us to learn more about our services and schedule your initial consultation today!