Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a therapy that focuses to address the negative thoughts in our brain. Working one-on-one with a mental health professional, individuals learn how to work with their negative, intrusive thoughts and handle any anxiety-provoking situations. CBT can be used in a variety of mental illnesses and traumas. Because it works directly to change negative thoughts, it can be used to help address anxiety, depression, addictions and eating disorders/body dysmorphia. It may take time for change to be noticeable but working with your therapist one to two times a week will slowly progress you towards a more healthy way of living.
There are different types of CBT. The most common is Cognitive Therapy, a therapy that addresses distorted, intrusive thoughts and actions carried out by these thoughts. Dialectical Behaviour Therapy uses mindfulness and emotional regulation to address negative dispositions and behaviours. Multimodal Therapy aims to provide a holistic approach by working through effects, behaviours, cognition, biology/genetics, sensations, imagery, and relations with those around them. All these factors, their connections and influences on a person’s life are looked at, the adverse aspects looked at and addressed properly. Lastly, Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy looks at irrational thoughts and views, working to challenge them and show the holes in them, resulting in unravelling the false beliefs one held. Different patterns and rational views are then learned.
The therapy begins by first establishing a trusting relationship with your therapist. Work with someone who specializes in your trauma or mental illness, as it will connect you with a professional who can best address your needs. Once you are comfortable, you will explore triggers, intrusive thoughts, negative cycles, and ways to handle them. For instance, triggers for intrusive thoughts can be uncovered, and the therapist will work with you to find ways to avoid easily avoidable triggers and handles ones that can be. Someone with OCD may be worried about leaving the iron on every time they leave the house. One solution could be to bring the iron along so that the trigger is no longer active. For things bigger such as a stove, taking a picture of a closed stove diminishes any credence to intrusive thoughts.
Note that CBT is structured and change-oriented. It includes a lot of self-discipline and self-monitoring. When doing this therapy, you have to be open and willing to change. It will require some introspection on your part and the ability, to be honest with yourself. If you find that you struggle to change, it may be better to explore CBT at a different time.
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Smith, M. W. (2020, November 10). The benefits of cognitive therapy forms. Retrieved February 06, 2021, from https://www.webmd.com/multiple-sclerosis/ms-mind-19/cognitive-therapy-benefits