Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Introduction

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is one of the most widely used talk therapies. It is based on the premise that an individual’s thoughts and feelings affect his/her behaviour. The focus in CBT is on problem solving and is directed towards changing the client’s thinking patterns to modify their response to problems issues. Evidence is strong for effectiveness of CBT to treat a wide range of mental health issues and conditions. CBT is comparatively a short duration therapy, stretching over 10-20 hourly sessions as compared to Psychoanalysis, which can stretch to over 5-6 years.

Applicability

CBT is suitable for use in a wide age group ranging from children, adolescents and adults and can be delivered to individuals or groups (including families and couples). Based on collective evidence from a wide selection of studies, APS approves use of CBT for Adults in

and for children and adolescents in

  • Anxiety Disorders
    • Generalized Anxiety Disorders (7-17 years)
    • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (3-18 years)
    • Panic Disorder (11-17 years)
    • PTSD (3-18 years)
    • Social Anxiety Disorder (8-17 years)
    • Specific Phobia (7-17 years)
  • Conduct Disorder (2-17 years)
  • Eating Disorders
    • Anorexia Nervosa (13-17 years)
    • Binge Eating Disorder (12-18 years)
    • Bulimia Nervosa (12-18 years)
  • Mood Disorders
    • Bipolar Disorder (7-13 years)
    • Depression (12-18 years)
  • Sleep Disorders (7-19 years)
  • Somatoform Disorder
    • Body Dysmorphic Disorder (12-18 years)
    • Pain Disorder (6-18 years)
  • Substance Use Disorders (12-18 years)

What Happens in Therapy

During CBT, the client learns to identify the painful and upsetting thoughts they have about the problematic situations and then dissect them to see whether they are rational or not. Once they have identified the thoughts as irrational, they are taught skills to change their thinking patterns so that a better and more accurate assessment of the problem at hand can be made. Having changed their perspective of the situation at hand, the psychologist helps them identify a more appropriate course of action. Client’s may be given “homework exercises” in between sessions. The homework helps them to apply the skills learned in the sessions to real life situations and see how it impacts their perception and response to situations.

The Science Behind CBT

CBT is developed using the knowledge from behavioural and cognitive theories that a person’s perception about a situation determines their reaction to it, rather than the reality of the situation itself. When a person is stressed or emotionally distraught, their perception of a situation may not be realistic and would vary from another person’s perception. Thus by teaching them strategies to challenge their thoughts and change their perception of the situation, we can effectively change their reactions, thoughts and feelings.

CBT is applicable to the present moment, so the psychologist tries to learn from the client what thoughts and feelings are going on in their mind in the current moment, so as to identify the distressing thoughts and feelings. The psychologist then helps them challenge these thoughts and feelings to explore if they are rational or irrational. CBT helps the clients to get actively involved in their own treatment plan, after having learned that the key to improve their lives is to modify their perception and reaction to everyday events.

Use of CBT At Potentialz Unlimited

Our Psychologists use Cognitive Behaviour Therapy as part of the treatment plan for a range of mental health issues including:

  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Depression
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Panic Disorders
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Eating Disorders
  • Phobias and extreme fears
  • Insomnia and sleep disorders
  • Addiction and substance abuse issues
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