Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Changing the way you think

Published on: 23/09/2022

Learn how cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can change a person's mindset.

Sometimes, whenever we try to have a positive outlook on life, there are factors that affect us in doing so. You got stuck in terrible traffic, causing you to be late again to work. A young lady looking at her phone while walking just bumped you, spilling your coffee on your white shirt. The neighbor's dog, which you've always disliked because of your phobia, has chased you while you're walking home. Little by little, these factors build up in your mind, causing you to be stressed out even more.

At times like these, a little trip to your therapist can help. This article tackles how cognitive behavioral therapy works to help us change our mindset and give us the peace of mind that we need.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a common form of talk therapy (psychotherapy) with a mental health counselor. It is done through the patient attending a limited number of sessions agreed upon with their therapist. CBT helps the patient become aware of their inaccurate or negative thinking so they can be challenged to change it or get an outlook on it in a positive way.

CBT offers various treatments for different issues, including phobias, addictions, depression, and anxiety. Each specific treatment aims for the patient to quickly identify and cope with specific challenges, depending on the patient’s needs, which can be agreed upon by the two parties.

CBT is different from other psychotherapies because it’s pragmatic, highly structured, collaborative, and focuses on your current problems.

How CBT Works

According to the National Health Service in the UK, problems are categorized into five areas through CBT:

  • Situations
  • Thoughts
  • Emotions
  • Physical feelings
  • Actions

This is based on the concept that these five are interconnected with each other. For instance, your physical actions may be the result of your emotions, which are based on your thoughts in a certain situation.

Sessions through CBT may be taken individually (one-on-one with the therapist) or in a group. CBT sessions are usually short-term and more affordable than any other type of therapy, making them increasingly popular with health consumers and treatment professionals.

Types of CBT

Various types of CBT are available according to patients’ needs, such as:

  • Exposure therapy. This therapy is taken by patients with phobias.
  • Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). This type of CBT deals with identifying and altering irrational beliefs.
  • Cognitive Therapy. This identifies and corrects inaccurate thinking patterns, emotional responses, and behaviors.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). This teaches a patient different strategies, such as emotional regulation and mindfulness.
  • Multimodal Therapy. This suggests that psychological issues must be treated through seven interconnected modalities: behavior, affection, sensation, imagery, cognition, interpersonal factors, and drug/biological considerations. This is mostly given to patients with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.

Online CBTs

For individuals who would like to try what type of CBT is right for them or would just like to explore CBT, various online CBTs are available over the Internet. These include complete resources, activities, and exercises that explain how CBT works. The good thing is, most of these resources are free and readily accessible to everyone.

Final thoughts

Through various sessions, CBT can change our mindsets. However, this may not fully treat a mental illness or erratic behavior. Depending on the diagnosis, a patient might be advised to take prescription drugs if needed, especially with serious mental illnesses.

In conclusion, we should maintain a healthy lifestyle, have a usual routine we can follow, and practice mindfulness to have a peaceful and sound mind.