5% of adults suffer from depression. It is one of the most common diseases in the world, cutting across all demographics.

But that does not mean that a person is helpless to continue suffering with depression or any other mental health problem. They have numerous tools at their disposal, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

What is cognitive behavioral therapy? What kinds of therapy can a person receive at a cognitive behavioral therapy center? What are some tips that a therapist and an individual should follow during therapy?

Answering these questions can help you can change your depressive or anxious thoughts and feelings for the better. Here is your quick guide.

The Essentials of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of one-on-one talk therapy. A person will sit down with a trained therapist and identify thought patterns that impede their life in some way. The therapist will assist them in changing these patterns over a series of sessions.

CBT is based on the idea that negative thoughts lead to negative moods. Negative thoughts in turn stem from unrealistic beliefs.

CBT can assist people in learning the truth about themselves and their behavior. They may need to realize their positive impact on other people or identify negative events that contribute to their beliefs. Once they get to the core of their beliefs, they can develop positive thoughts and then healthy emotions.

Therapy Types

There are a number of treatment options that a therapist can pursue. After deciding what the right type is for an individual, the therapist will personalize the therapy to meet the person’s specific needs.

Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive therapy is the main type of CBT. As the name suggests, it focuses on cognition and distorted thinking patterns.

Therapists can use several techniques to unearth misleading patterns. In Socratic questioning, a therapist will ask a person a series of questions about their thoughts. The questions pose a healthy challenge to the individual, helping them recognize the flaws in their thinking.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) does address thought patterns. But the therapy incorporates strategies to help a person become more mindful and regulate their emotions.

DBT involves group therapy in addition to individual therapy. People in group therapy learn behavioral and social skills through role-plays and other exercises. They then go into individual therapy to discuss how they can adapt their skills to their own challenges.

If a person feels stressed, they can call their therapist and have a phone coaching session. This can give them relief from a difficult situation and help them cope with change.

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) centers around the ABC model for thoughts. An activating event triggers a belief in a person’s mind. The belief creates a consequence, which generates a strong emotion that a person maintains through time.

REBT therapists recommend strategies for better cognition, emotions, and behavior. They may engage in Socratic questioning in order to challenge a person’s thoughts. But they also advise the person to pursue meditation and journaling to help them soothe their emotions and track their behavior.

Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT can have substantial benefits in several ways. It is an effective therapy for many different mental health conditions. People with depression, anxiety disorders, and PTSD can benefit from it.

But a person does not have to have a diagnosed mental health condition to receive benefits. People who are dealing with chronic pain, divorce, or grief can get relief with this type of therapy.

Someone does not have to go into a therapist’s office to receive benefits. CBT can be done through video-chat, phone sessions etc. Both face-to-face and electronic CBT are helpful with mitigating depression.

A person who does not like CBT can transition to another therapy easily. They can also integrate other therapies into their treatment regimen. They can pursue art therapy and take medications while going to CBT sessions.

Any schedule for CBT works. An individual can take sessions late at night or early in the morning. They can go once or twice a week on any day of the week, letting them attend to their personal responsibilities.

Tips for Therapy

CBT can be difficult for a person to handle. They may be uncomfortable with having deep-seated beliefs and thoughts challenged. They may find it hard to change their thoughts over time.

Someone must be motivated to change for CBT to work. They should spend time with themselves and try to be introspective. The more they examine their thoughts by themselves, the more they can examine their thoughts with a therapist.

The therapist must remind the person that progress is gradual. CBT is about taking incremental steps over a period of time. A therapist should point out the steps an individual is taking and congratulate them on their work.

Before a person goes to a therapist, they may want to speak with their personal physician. They may have a physical problem that is causing them stress in addition to a psychological one. Their physician can help with any physical problem and their therapist can help them with their thoughts and feelings.

So What Is CBT?

Cognitive behavioral therapy can change your life. Mental health conditions are based on misguided beliefs and thoughts. CBT can help someone change their thoughts and mitigate their symptoms.

There are a few different types of CBT, such as cognitive therapy. Each type is adaptable to a person’s work schedule, enhancing the benefits.

Therapy should affirm the person while challenging their faulty beliefs. Progress is gradual, but taking the first step can lead to healthier thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

Don’t let your thoughts keep you down. Harbor Counseling serves the Westchester County area. Schedule a free consultation today.