Friday, 26 March 2010

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive behaviour therapy or CBT is a combination of cognitive as well as behaviour therapies. This therapy consists of two elements: cognitive and behaviour because the way we think is often a reflection of how we think about certain situations. In order to further understand this type of therapy, we need to discuss the 2 types of therapies namely behaviour therapy and cognitive therapy. Cognitive therapy involves the cognitive processes or our thoughts, attitudes, mental images etc. This therapy is based on how a certain manner of thinking can cause complications or health concerns. Some examples of these are depression, chronic anxiety and phobias not to mention related physical issues. The therapist tries to make the patient understand the patterns about their thoughts. The objective here is to determine which ideas are harmful or which are not and how harmful thoughts can be changed to a positive one. On the other hand, behaviour therapy is focused on modifying behaviours that are not beneficial. The techniques used in this therapy are varied. An example of behaviour therapy method is deep breathing, which is often used to calm a patient. Moving back to cognitive behaviour therapy,emphasis is given on behaviour therapy for the treatment of repetitive compulsive behaviour but for the treatment of depression, cognitive therapy is emphasized. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is often used for different conditions involving both physical as well as mental well-being. Phobias, depression, eating problems, anger, stress, drug abuse, sleeping problems as well as sexual issues and pain are often treated through CBT. Medical professionals believe that the more specific the concern is the better the chances that CBT can help resolve it. Depending on the problem and the severity, CBT may be used alone or with medications. The initial session of CBT is more on you and your therapist developing a common understanding of the issue. This is necessary to determine how your behaviour, ideas, feelings and thoughts impact your daily life. It is during this stage that you and your therapist will work on a treatment plan and agree on objectives. A session will last for an hour and is done at least once every week. CBT usually lasts for ten to fifteen weeks depending on the issue to be resolved and how complicated it is. Sometimes, CBT sessions are done over the phone. The victim must actively do his part and accomplish any assignment that is given during sessions or in between sessions. For example, if you have been diagnosed with social phobia, your therapist may ask you to write your thoughts on a diary particularly if you are growing anxious then later on you may asked to find and try ways on how you can cope with your anxiety. This is basically how Cognitive Behaviour Therapy works. It requires the active participation of both the patient and the therapist in order for this treatment resolve certain mental or physical conditions. Success cannot be guaranteed however CBT should work for various cases and positively help a patient.

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