What is CBT and how does it work? What type of benefits can a patient expect from a CBT program?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT for short, is one of the most common types of therapy in use today and has grown in popularity with therapists and clients alike. In fact, almost every effective rehab treatment has a CBT component to it.
What Is CBT?
CBT is a type of talk therapy in which an individual works to identify misguided or faulty thought patterns. The notion is that these patterns lead to equally misguided or faulty actions. To challenge the way of thinking is to challenge the actions they produce. Change the way of thinking and the patient’s life improves.
A therapist guides his or her patient through the process of locating these troublesome patterns. They will use a number of different techniques to help the patient come to grips with them. These might include:
- Comparing distorted thoughts to reality
- Understanding the thoughts and behavior of others
- Applying new coping mechanisms to difficult situations
- Boosting self-confidence in the individual’s ability to handle these situations
CBT patients learn to face their fears by practicing potential conflicts before they happen. This method is called role-playing. It’s a very pragmatic and straight-forward approach. And there’s plenty of documentation to prove it works.
Types of CBT
Is there more than one kind of CBT? The short answer is yes. In truth, CBT is medical shorthand for a broad category of therapeutic techniques that use the evidence-based CBT model as a foundation. You can apply the CBT label to at least a dozen types of therapy, including:
- Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT): REBT focuses on locating and correcting a patient’s cognitive distortions, which occur when an individual places inflexible, overly general beliefs on inherently flexible and specific situations. For instance, “If my co-worker doesn’t praise my work, I’m sure to get fired.” As with other forms of CBT, REBT concentrates on identifying the erroneous belief and replacing it with a healthier way of thinking.
- Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT): MBCT combines CBT with what is known as mindfulness, a technique that allows a person to acknowledge thoughts and feelings occurring at that particular moment, but not attaching judgment or value to them. This type of therapy is of particular value to those with recurring depression or who are battling addiction relapse.
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): DBT is similar to MBCT in that it adds a mindfulness component to CBT treatment. DBT, however, was initially developed to treat patients with Borderline Personality Disorder, a mental health issue with a high rate of self-destructive behaviors. As a result, it is particularly effective with chronically suicidal patients, as well as those prone to self-harm and substance abuse.
Learn More About CBT
First Step Center of Arizona offers a wide variety of treatment options for addiction recovery, including cognitive-behavioral therapy. To learn more about what is CBT and how we can help you or a loved one regain or maintain a sober lifestyle, contact us at 866.832.6398.