If you’re experiencing addiction, you may wonder, what is CBT? Cognitive-behavioral therapy, which is often referred to as CBT, is a widely-applied form of psychological therapy. Its effectiveness is well-documented in treating various mental health issues and substance abuse disorders. The efficacy of CBT is something that sets it apart from many other psychological treatments. Studies indicate it is on par with or better than other therapy or psychiatric medications.
What Is CBT?
What is cognitive-behavioral therapy? It’s a common question in mental health and addiction treatment because the technique is widespread. As a therapeutic intervention, CBT is grounded in a few core principles.
First is the concept that psychological issues are based on negative thinking patterns. Second is the idea that negative habits or behavior patterns influence these mental issues. And third is that people can learn how to better cope with mental issues to achieve symptom relief. These three core elements are all informed by a belief that habits of thought and behavior can be modified.
Modifying these negative patterns is much of the focus during individual sessions of CBT. Strategies for changing negative thought patterns include:
- Learning to recognize distorted beliefs and re-evaluating them through a more realistic lens
- Understanding the behavior and motivation of others on a deeper, more empathetic level
- Coping with stress or triggering situations through the implementation of coping mechanisms
- Developing greater self-esteem and self-confidence
CBT also focuses on changing behavior as well as it takes modifying both to achieve lasting transformation. A few strategies treatment providers use to help people change their behavior habits include confronting fears; roleplaying interpersonal interactions; and learning how to calm the body and mind through techniques like biofeedback, meditation, or positive self-talk.
Information About CBT: Facts and Myths
Even though CBT is widespread and evidence-based, myths about this technique continue to abound. The most prominent myths about CBT are tackled below, alongside accurate information about CBT.
1. Myth: CBT is One-Size-Fits-All
CBT is indeed structured and action-oriented. However, that does not mean it is inflexible or applied to all clients in the same way. CBT is predicated on a clinician having an individualized understanding of their client and their unique needs. The overall goals of CBT are similar from one person to another. How those goals are achieved is often very different and is always informed by a person’s unique situation.
2. Myth: CBT Ignores Emotion
CBT emphasizes changing behaviors and thoughts. As a result, it has acquired a reputation for ignoring emotion. But that is simply reductive in a misleading way. The reality is that CBT connects those patterns of behavior and thought back to emotions and how they influence emotion. Changing how a person thinks or behaves naturally impacts how they feel. CBT may prioritize starting from behavior and thought, but it hardly ignores the role of emotion.
3. Myth: CBT Ignores the Past
This third myth seems to stem from CBT’s prioritization of action and helping clients move forward. This has led some to claim that CBT ignores or downplays what happened to a person before therapy, which could include things like childhood trauma or medical histories that have implications for current treatment. CBT does focus on the factors that currently influence someone. At the same time, skilled clinicians can honor someone’s past by recognizing how the past informs their current predicament. Still, CBT operates from an understanding that the catalyst for an issue may differ from what makes the issue continue into the present.
Access More Information About CBT at Evoke Wellness at Cohasset
Evoke Wellness at Cohasset is ready to support your mental health and substance abuse needs. More information about CBT and its many benefits is just a phone call away at 866.931.6429.