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8 Key Facts About Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy, CBT, is one of the most beneficial types of talk therapy available today. In fact, this type of therapy has many benefits that may surprise you. Let's explore these benefits so you can understand how it can change your life if you experience sleep problems, depression, anxiety, stress, low self-esteem or other conditions for which it is used.

1. CBT Addresses Negative Thought Patterns and Behaviors

Have you ever thought to yourself, "I wish I would think more positively?" Negative thought patterns can weigh anyone down. The same is true for negative behaviors that we repeat, despite knowing they work against us. CBT is formed around the belief that many of our life problems actually stem from these negative thoughts and behaviors. As part of your treatment, your therapist helps you identify your negative thinking patterns and behaviors that hold you back, so you can replace them with better methods.

2. It Works for Many Types of Mental Health Problems

CBT works for a vast variety of mental health problems that relate to how you think and behave. It works well for issues and conditions like:

  • Trauma
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Phobias
  • PTSD
  • Low self-esteem
  • ADHD
  • Relationship problems
  • Stress

3. It Is So Popular Because It Works

CBT is an evidence-based practice. This means that many experts, such as scientists and researchers, have studied the methods used and patient results extensively. So, why does it work so well? Studies have shown that patients benefit from how the therapy uses concise, direct and solution-focused methods. It also provides clear and measurable results in how people think and behave. The results are quick, too!

4. It Provides a Clear Pathway to Improvement

CBT is much like other forms of talk therapy. This makes the sessions familiar and unintimidating. Essentially, you and your therapist first discuss your therapy goals, your personal history and problems you experience in daily life. From there, you dig deeper into your struggles to create effective ways of handling them.

In other words, an action plan clarifies problems in your thinking patterns and behaviors. Then you develop methods for changing them, using your "homework" time between visits to practice those changes. On your next visit, you and the therapist discuss your practice of the changes and the results you experienced.

5. CBT Works Quickly

When many people think of going to therapy, they expect to be met with a treatment plan lasting months or even years. But CBT works very quickly, typically in 8 to 12 sessions. In these few sessions, you will experience symptom reduction.

Symptom improvement comes from applying changes in your between-visit time. You can also expect homework that focuses on these changes in your thoughts and behaviors, such as using relaxation methods, keeping a journal, completing worksheets, reading an assigned book or fulfilling specific challenges.

You will start seeing results almost immediately after therapy begins. But how long your course of treatment lasts depends on how many issues you need to work on and the severity of those problems. Still, this method is a short-term approach.

6. You Can Use Its Techniques On Your Own, Too

Even without your therapist's guidance, you can practice CBT methods outside of therapy sessions. Some of the methods you will learn and use in therapy become healthy habits for a lifetime. In therapy you also build appreciation for its methods and how well they work.

Healthy habits related to CBT that you can apply outside of therapy include:

  • Keeping a gratitude journal
  • Monitoring unhealthy food intake
  • Tracking daily steps
  • Sleep monitoring

7. Insurance Usually Covers Your Therapy

Because cognitive behavioral therapy is an evidence-based practice, it is widely accepted by insurance companies that cover psychotherapy or other behavioral medicine. Also because it usually requires only a short course of treatment, insurance companies tend to support CBT. It generally costs less than other methods.

8. You Can Benefit from It In-Person or Online!

CBT is a method successfully used for virtual therapy, also called teletherapy or online therapy. This means you can undergo a full course of treatment from the privacy of your own home, office or car. You only need a Wi-Fi connected smartphone, laptop, tablet or desktop computer with a camera to connect to your therapist at Greene Psychology Group of Raleigh for each session. If you live within North Carolina, call Greene Psychology Group today at 919-205-5339 for scheduling.

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