Frequently Asked Questions About Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Around one in every five people is going through a psychological problem. The most common mental illnesses today include ADHD, anxiety, and depression. These are medical conditions that diminish an individual’s psychological functions, which affect their daily lives. 

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or ADHD is common among children. It normally manifests as an above-average level of hyperactivity and brings about impulsive behaviors. Children with ADHD have a much harder time focusing on a single task. If it persists, it can, later on, affect school performance and relationships. 

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But thanks to medical science and technology, mental health care and treatment have immensely improved over the years. Many victims and sufferers can now function normally, live their lives more freely, and cope with daily stress.

Among the many measures in treating mental disorders, psychotherapy has played a significant role in improving people’s state of mind.

Psychotherapy is an umbrella term for different types of psychological therapies. These therapies include the guidance and advice of psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental healthcare providers.

Also called talk therapy, people learn to “talk” with their chosen physician in psychotherapy. As they open up to their psychiatrist, it helps them understand their feelings and thoughts better.

In the early days, psychotherapies’ methods come in two categories: cognitive and behavioral. Cognitive focused more on an individual’s memories, decision-making, and ability to respond to situations or things. On the other hand, behavioral aims to understand behavior and the consequences that come with it. 

Now, there is a type of psychotherapy called CBT. It is an abbreviation for cognitive-behavioral therapy. Basically, it is a blend of the two methods in the past. A short-term psychological treatment, CBT looks at an individual’s cognitions, emotions, and behavioral patterns and the connection between these three.

For more information about cognitive-behavioral therapy, we compiled some frequently asked questions below to help you.

How do I find a cognitive-behavioral therapist?

You can find a cognitive-behavioral therapist by asking for recommendations from people you trust, like your friends and family. It would also help to ask for a referral from your physician. You can also try calling your local community clinic for mental health and ask for a cognitive behavior therapist.

How much does cognitive behavioral therapy cost?

It typically costs $100 or more for one CBT session, which means you have to shell out $1,200 for 12 sessions. Ask your insurance provider if therapy is covered under your policy. But you can also consider federal-funded health centers that offer CBT on a pay-what-you-can basis.

How long does it take for cognitive behavioral therapy to work?

Like all therapy methods, CBT’s success largely depends on your willingness to commit to the treatment process. A typical CBT treatment spans 12-20 weekly sessions lasting about 30-60 minutes each.

If you want quick results, you may consider intensive CBT, which compresses those appointments into a week-long or even a one-day session.

What does cognitive behavioral therapy involve?

As a talk therapy, CBT involves several discussions with your therapist to help you respond to a problem that may appear overwhelming at the onset. Your therapist will start by helping you analyze the thoughts and feelings behind your behaviors.

The therapist will also guide you to form healthier coping mechanisms that you are expected to practice daily. You may also be asked to complete assignments so that you maintain the habit even after treatment.

Can I do cognitive behavioral therapy on my own?

For individuals with mild to moderate depression and anxiety, it may be possible to do self-CBT. If barriers prevent you from working with a therapist, you can try journaling to break down your thoughts and emotions into identifiable components.

From then, you may be able to recognize and reframe cognitive distortions. You can also enroll in online courses complete with worksheets for a more structured CBT experience.

What is an example of cognitive-behavioral therapy?

Cognitive restructuring is one CBT technique that can equip just about anyone with the skills to respond to a stressful situation. If you experience overwhelming negative feelings, a CBT therapist may advise you to take a step back, analyze your mood, and recognize the thoughts that automatically cross your mind before making a snap judgment.

You may then look for evidence to support or challenge those thoughts until you’ve calmed down enough to assess the situation from a clearer headspace.

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What is CBT for anxiety?

CBT is particularly useful in treating anxiety. It helps stop a negative thought loop by breaking a problem into distinct components (thoughts, emotions, actions) to make it seem more manageable. Your therapist will help you identify and replace cognitive distortions with more compassionate ways of thinking.

Over time, these positive affirmations will hopefully improve how you feel and inform the way you act.

Can CBT make anxiety worse?

Some patients may feel vulnerable or uncomfortable during a CBT session due to the heavy introspection and reflection. In some cases, you might feel frustration or anger, but that’s often part of the treatment process. As the saying goes, it usually gets worse before it gets better.

Are therapists worth it?

There are some thoughts or beliefs that we pick up through life, not knowing that they may not be useful anymore, and a therapist has the clinical expertise to bring those to the surface. You don’t need to have anxiety or depression to consider therapy. CBT is useful for individuals who are seeking healthier ways to respond to life’s problems.

What is the success rate of cognitive-behavioral therapy?

According to a study, CBT is 50-75% effective in helping individuals with depression and anxiety provided they commit to 5-15 sessions. Although it can help treat a wide range of mental disorders, CBT is often used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that may include medications.

Does CBT really work?

Research shows that CBT can work as well as or even slightly better than antidepressants in treating patients with depression and anxiety. However, it’s not for everyone, nor is it a one-size-fits-all solution. As mentioned, the treatment’s success depends on your commitment to change, and change often takes time.

What is the difference between cognitive therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy?

By treading the line between cognitive and behavioral therapy, CBT analyzes the interaction between a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior. CBT proponents would argue that cognitive distortions may result in not just emotional consequences but also self-destructive behaviors.

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Cognitive and behavioral methods have given way to the most prevalent psychological treatment approach—cognitive-behavioral therapy. There have been countless studies on CBT’s effectiveness regarding a variety of psychological disorders, including ADHD.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy helped many individuals address emotional and behavioral challenges brought upon by their mental illnesses. The therapy’s different attributes include problem-solving, coping mechanisms, and self-control, among many others.

CBT identifies and alters every maladaptive thought and negative emotion. People start developing a better sense of themselves and their environment.

Psychiatrists and psychologists recommend a minimum of 12 weeks or 12 sessions in cognitive-behavioral therapy. Each session lasts about an hour or two. It is a relatively short treatment approach in comparison with other psychotherapy types.

But the length of the process still depends on the patient’s case. Some commit to it in a shorter amount of time, while others take longer, even up to 20 weeks. 

Despite the impressive help of CBT in the field of mental health, it is without any risk. As many doctors and medical researchers have said, psychotherapy is not harmless.

It comes with side effects, disadvantages, and risks like any other treatment. For CBT, there were signs of relapse, commitment issues, and emotional distraught during sessions.

Nonetheless, cognitive-behavioral therapy brought many patients tremendous positive impact on their lives. If you have been struggling with a mental disorder, you may want to talk to the nearest therapy in your area regarding CBT’s influence.

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