CBT: the Very Basics

CBT: the Very Basics

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is an effective, approachable therapy that can treat addiction, depression, anxiety and other mental health concerns

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an effective, approachable therapy method; as its name indicates, it combines cognitive and behavioral therapies. While CBT is most often recommended for addiction depression and anxiety, it can benefit people with a variety of mental health concerns, including people who struggle with the stress of everyday life. It is typically offered over a set period of time, 12-20 therapy sessions, and it has had a proven clinical track record since its creation in the 1980s.

How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?

Emotions are difficult to manage, as they are often reactive rather than logical. What is more, it may seem like an overwhelming task to manage emotions, especially for people whose lives seem to be controlled by the emotions associated with depression, anxiety or addiction. However, CBT addresses these problematic emotions by changing the thoughts and behaviors that cause or contribute to them. A Therapist’s Guide to Brief Cognitive Behavioral Therapy explains that “CBT builds a set of skills that enables an individual to be aware of thoughts and emotions; identify how situations, thoughts, and behaviors influence emotions; and improve feelings by changing dysfunctional thoughts and behaviors” (2008). CBT helps patients examine how and why they feel the way they do, and it also provides a structure for changing those feelings. As Psychology Today explains, “Unlike traditional Freudian psychoanalysis, which probes childhood wounds to get at the root causes of conflict, CBT focuses on solutions, encouraging patients to challenge distorted cognitions and change destructive patterns of behavior” (“Psych Basics: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy”). CBT worries less about the individual emotions or their causes, as it focuses more on changing thoughts and behaviors for better emotional management in the future.

While an important part of recovery is understanding root causes of depression, substance abuse and other mental health issues, psychoanalysis does not always provide clear steps for improving mental health. On the other hand, CBT teaches patients to identify problematic thoughts while offering structured therapy visits with a clear outline for progression.

Find Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

If you or a loved one struggles to manage problematic thoughts, behaviors and emotions, then CBT may be the right choice for recovery. Talk with our admissions coordinators to receive a free assessment and professional recommendations for treatment that will meet your personal needs. Our staff are here 24 hours a day, and all phone services are confidential, so please do not hesitate to pick up the phone now to learn more about your treatment options.