Cognitive behavioral treatment, or CBT, is a form of therapeutic psychotherapy that is used to study the association between a person’s thoughts and feelings about self and others and their influence on that person’s behavior. The aim of CBT is to bring a change in individuals’ cognitive thinking (what they think about themselves and others) and their resulting behavior (what they do due to these thoughts) so that they can feel positive and better about themselves. A major difference between CBT and other talking therapies, however, is that instead of focusing on the causes of the symptoms, CBT only focuses on “here and now” to improve the patient’s condition.

When Is Cognitive Behavioral Treatment Helpful?

CBT is usually recommended for people who are suffering from some kind of psychiatric disorders. This can include issues like depression, anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder, stress, bulimia, bipolar disorder, psychosis, and post-traumatic stress disorder. In some cases, CBT also works for people who have behavioral issues or personality disorders like difficulty in anger control and low opinion of self. In addition, some kind of physical health issues might require a person to go through CBT; these include chronic fatigue and pain, and sleeping problems.

How Does Cognitive Behavioral Treatment Work?

In CBT, overwhelming behavioral problems are broken down into smaller, easy to comprehend parts so that the individual is in a better position to make sense of them. Most commonly, a situation is given to them to determine their actions, thoughts, emotions and physical feelings. All these aspects are studied in an interdependent way to understand how the person’s cognitive and behavioral functions interact. Depending on how someone thinks about a certain situation, they might behave in a helpful or unhelpful way towards it.

Is Cognitive Behavioral Treatment Effective?

For conditions of depression and anxiety, CBT is considered to be one of the most effective forms of treatment, according to the Royal College of Psychiatrists. For many types of severe and moderate level of depression, this therapy can be as effective as antidepressants and also the most effective psychological treatment currently available. However, it is also a fact that CBT is not for everyone. While it might work perfectly for some, it may not work at all for others. For those who have severe depression, it usually works when they take antidepressants along with CBT treatment.

Life During and After Cognitive Behavioral Treatment

This is in no way a quick treatment that can cure in a blink. A CBT course can take anywhere between six weeks to six months, depending on the person’s condition and how the therapy works for them. However, the improvement they feel after going through the therapy would be worth the effort because kicking off something as bad as depression or anxiety is bound to have a positive effect on their lives. Once officially done with their CBT, individuals should continue using their CBT skills afterwards as well to ensure that their depression or anxiety symptoms do not come back.