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Therapists use many practical mental health tools to help their patients lead fuller, more rewarding lives. They teach them coping strategies and new ways of addressing problems while supporting them to make hard decisions.

A Guide to Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is one of the most common therapy types in a therapist’s toolkit to help people manage day-to-day mental health challenges. If you’re unsure if this therapy type is right for you or require more information, you can learn more about CBT below.

What Is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

Cognitive behaviour therapy or cognitive behavioural therapy is a form of psychological treatment for anxiety disorders, mental illness, depression, and drug and alcohol use problems. It encompasses core principles like your psychological problems being based on unhelpful ways of thinking and unhelpful behaviour[1].

CBT revolves around changing thinking patterns and learning to recognize that your distorted thinking is creating problems. It also involved understanding the behaviour and motivations of others and using problem-solving skills to combat tricky situations.

Does CBT Work?

It’s only natural to question whether a form of therapy will be helpful for your unique needs and mental health challenges. After all, seeking help can be daunting, and you want to ensure you’ll see results.

Cognitive behavioural therapy is recognized as a successful therapeutic approach capable of helping with managing symptoms associated with stress, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, pain, and more. It is shown to be particularly effective for treating anger control problems, general stress, anxiety disorders, bulimia, and somatoform disorders[2].

What’s Involved in CBT?

If you’re going to explore a new therapy type with your chosen therapist, it’s only natural to question what your sessions will involve. What you can expect from your appointments can depend on your psychological problems and how your therapist chooses to help you address them.

Often, therapists start by assessing your current thought patterns, any cognitive distortions, and how they contribute to your symptoms. They can then challenge and replace those thoughts with more constructive ones and help you change your behaviour with triggers.

Therapists will also:

  • Help you set realistic problem-solving goals
  • Help you manage stress and anxiety
  • Encourage you to do more enjoyable activities
  • Teach you relaxation and breathing techniques

Benefits of CBT

There are many effective therapy types, but you may be inclined to explore CBT with your therapist for these reasons:

Develop a Rational Thought Process

When you have cognitive distortions that contribute to negative mental health symptoms, you can be pleased to know that CBT might help you develop a more rational thought process. You may find it easier to control your thoughts and replace any negative thoughts with more rational and appropriate ones[3].

Improve Self-Esteem

CBT involves understanding how your thoughts work and changing your belief system. As many mental health conditions are associated with low self-esteem, disrupting your belief system may lead to improved self-esteem.

To Help You Relax

We learn how to respond to our symptoms when we undertake CBT. Therapists can teach you various relaxation techniques so you can respond more calmly[4].

Learning a new therapy type like CBT can be daunting, especially when you’ve never heard of it before. Talk with a trusted therapist about CBT to see if this innovative psycho-social intervention is right for your unique needs.

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4 sources

We review published medical research in respected scientific journals to arrive at our conclusions about a product or health topic. This ensures the highest standard of scientific accuracy.

[2] The Efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A Review of Meta-analyses:
[3] Study-related mental health symptoms and their correlates among allied health professions students:
[4] Relaxation Techniques: What You Need To Know:
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Dr. Keith Kantor

Dr. Kantor has a Ph.D. in Nutritional Science and has been an advocate of natural food and healthy living for 30 years. He is also on t