How CBT Can Help You

The Pros and Cons of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based practice that has been proven to help people manage mental illness. It works by identifying negative thought patterns, also known as “cognitive processes”, and challenging them with new information so you can see things from a different perspective. We all have these thoughts at times, but when they occur frequently or are strong enough that they interfere with your life, it’s time to do something about them.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that is used to treat a wide variety of mental health issues, including anxiety disorders, mood disorders, eating disorders, and substance use disorders. It is a short-term therapy that focuses on solving current problems as well as improving overall wellness. CBT is collaborative, solution-focused, and action-oriented. CBT is based on the idea that how you think and how you feel are closely connected. CBT can help you process negative thoughts and emotions so you can let them go.

The Pros of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

  • CBT is collaborative. You work together with your therapist to come up with solutions that address your specific needs and issues. 
  • CBT is short-term. You’ll spend between 8-16 weeks working with a therapist to target your specific issues and concerns. 
  • CBT is structured. You and your therapist will create a structured plan to tackle your issues head on and make lasting changes in your life. 
  • CBT is results-oriented. You’ll leave treatment with a plan for how to keep your newfound skills, insights, and changes going long after you’ve finished treatment.
  • CBT can help you with a variety of issues. Because it’s goal-oriented, CBT can help you address pretty much any mental health concern you might be experiencing. 
  • CBT can help you reduce anxiety, depression, and more. In fact, CBT is one of the most effective mental health treatments out there.

The Cons of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

  • CBT is not a magic cure. It is a structured treatment that takes time, energy, and effort on your part to complete. 
  • CBT requires you to “put yourself out there” and share parts of yourself that are often extremely difficult to share. 
  • CBT requires self-disclosure. You’ll likely have to discuss your past, your feelings, and touch on sensitive topics that are hard to revisit. 
  • CBT requires you to be critical of yourself. You’ll likely have to face truths about your thoughts, feelings, and behavior that you may not be thrilled to discover. 
  • CBT requires you to talk about yourself. You’ll have to explore your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in depth.

How to Make CBT Work for You

  • Be prepared to put in effort. CBT is not something you can do half-heartedly. You must be open, honest, and truly dedicated to the process. 
  • Be prepared to be challenged. CBT will likely bring up some pretty intense emotions. You must be prepared to deal with whatever you find. 
  • Be prepared to take notes. CBT is incredibly detail-oriented, and the chances are good that you’ll be expected to keep a journal or notebook to track your progress. 
  • Be prepared to work with your therapist as a team. CBT is a collaborative treatment. You and your therapist are in it together.

CBT is a powerful, evidence-based therapeutic modality that can help you address a wide range of mental health concerns. It is a structured process that requires you to be open, honest, and dedicated to the process. If you are prepared to put in the effort, however, CBT can bring about real, lasting change.

This article is written by a therapist from Sensera – a self-help app that provides daily CBT audio sessions and exercises. The app helps people deal with a variety of mental issues (anxiety, low self-esteem, relationship problems). Download Sensera now to become happier!

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