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5 Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the safest and most widely-used methods for changing negative or debilitating thought patterns. The therapy has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression, treat anger and eating disorders, and improve the quality of life for patients with insomnia or other stress-related disorders.

Essentially, the therapy is teaching the brain a new way of thinking by learning the triggers and underlying causes associated with a negative thought or condition. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been used as a treatment for many years and is very well-researched. Below are a few of the many benefits associated with this form of psychotherapy.

Minimal Side-effects

Today’s psychologists can be pretty quick to prescribe mind-altering drugs as a form of treatment for a brain disorder. Unfortunately, these drugs can be associated with many negative side effects. Luckily, cognitive behavioral therapy does not involve the intake of a drug and instead focuses on natural processes for alleviating stress and anxiety. This means the therapy is safe and the patient or clinician isn’t required to monitor side-effects.

Improves Self-Esteem

Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on replacing destructive thoughts with positive and affirming ones. The very nature of the therapy helps clients approach life in a more positive way. This gives them the esteem to pursue new relationships and hobbies and tackle some of life’s biggest challenges with more ease. This restored sense of confidence has a huge positive impact on the patient both physically and emotionally.

Focuses on the Root Cause

This therapy teaches the client how to identify the root causes of anxiety or depression. Clients are able to work through what may be triggering a certain emotion and are then coached on how to adjust their reaction accordingly. Therapists using this treatment form assist the patient in understanding that their reaction to a situation is key and can have a huge impact on their overall thought patterns.

Limited Time Commitment

Cognitive behavioral therapy requires less of a time commitment than other more intensive therapies or treatments. Most clinicians estimate that a client will be able to manage their emotions on their own after an average of 16 sessions. While this is not an all-encompassing number and those with more severe symptoms may require additional sessions, this is a widely-accepted average.

Highly Structured Sessions

The nature of this type of therapy requires the use of clinically-proven exercises and a clear-cut road map for defining and measuring progress goals. Therapy sessions are extremely structured and the therapist is working very hard to deliver techniques most applicable to the client’s situation. Often, patients will be given “homework” to complete before each session so the therapist can easily follow the patient’s progress. This homework also serves as “agenda setting” and lets the client take the lead in determining what will be discussed in the session. This extremely structured approach reduces the amount of unproductive “chat time” during a session and ensures the patient receives the most return on their investment.

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These are just a few of the many benefits associated with cognitive behavioral therapy. This form of treatment can be used to address a wide variety of difficulties and can be tailored to meet your individual needs. If you find yourself unable to cope with some of life’s biggest challenges you might consider cognitive behavioral therapy.