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    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

    My Therapeutic Approach

    Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychological treatment approach shown to be effective for a variety of problems that comprise depression, anxiety, alcohol and drug use problems, relationships problems, eating disorders, and acute mental illness (American Psychological Association, 2017). In several studies, CBT has been shown to be as successful as, or more successful than, other types of psychotherapy or medications, and there is plentiful scientific evidence indicating that CBT results in positive change (American Psychological Association, 2017). As a result, CBT may also be effective in treating persons who experience anxiety or depression. I provide an unconventional form of CBT that can last well over 20 sessions.

    Is CBT effective?

    The most extensively tested kind of psychotherapy is CBT. Dozens of trials and many meta‐analyses have demonstrated that CBT is effective in treating depression and anxiety disorders. So, CBT is effective for non-severe to severe forms of anxiety and depression (Cuijpers et al., 2016). CBT also works well with challenging grief reactions by taking individuals through the stages inherent in the grieving process and uses both the cognitive (thinking) and behavioural techniques (doing) to cope more successfully with the clinical symptoms of depression/anxiety, acting as a means of support in the healing process (The Centre For Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, 2019).

    The biopsychosocial treatment perspective

    Let’s now examine the biopsychosocial treatment perspective within CBT. First, there is the biological component. For any of the previously mentioned medical conditions you will require the support of a doctor and can be supported with their prescribed medications. Second, there is the psychological component of treatment, which occurs through our regular conversation in therapy. Finally, there is the social component. Because many of the clients I work with often face struggles with both anxiety and depression, I suggest having more social interactions (e.g., making friends, spending time with friends and family, and/or attending social events).

    CBT has a few theoretical assumptions. The first assumption is that cognitions influence and cause behavior. This goes much further than traditional behavioral therapy since cognitions work as a mediating response among the initial stimuli and behavioral responses. So, in effect, it is our cognitions that result in behavior since how we interpret events decides how we react to them. Behavior may also affect cognitions, but a common point is that cognitions not only play a role in the behavioral process but are also necessary for it. The second assumption is that cognitions are not merely mysterious, short-lived processes—they may be measured, monitored, and changed. Asking individuals how they think and feel is therefore a potentially effective manner to understand their behavior. If cognitions may be measured, they may also be changed. This means that the manner in which individuals think about the world and think about themselves may be changed, and this is the aim of CBT when there is unhealthy behavior and cognitions. As one’s cognitions change, behavior can also change. CBT does not ignore the role that changing behavior (separate from cognitions) has in the therapeutic process, but it is very important to alter cognitions for precise lasting behavioral change.

    References

    American Psychological Association. (2017). What is cognitive behavioral therapy? APA.org https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/patients-and-families/cognitive-behavioral

    Cuijpers, P., Cristea, I. A., Karyotaki, E., Reijnders, M., & Huibers, M. J. (2016). How effective are cognitive behavior therapies for major depression and anxiety disorders? A meta-analytic update of the evidence. World Psychiatry: Official Journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), 15(3), 245–258. https://doi.org/10.1002/wps.20346

    The Centre For Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy. (2019). CBT for Bereavement.
    https://cognitivetherapylondon.co.uk/cognitive-therapy-for-bereavement/#:~:text=CBT%20works%20effectively%20with%20difficult,an%20aid%20in%20the%20healing

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