Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a special kind of talking therapy focused on rationalizing erratic thoughts and behaviors. It’s achieved by challenging your cognitive errors and reframing the issues more rationally.
But what principle underlies cognitive behavioral therapy?
Although cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) treatment should be tailored to individuals’ problems, it has 10 underlying principles that apply to everyone. Such principles include being structured, educative, and time-based.
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10 Principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT typically promotes being your own therapist and taking a proactive approach to treatment to prevent relapse.
It’s a form of psychological treatment that analyzes the links between:
So, here are the basic principles and approaches of CBT:
1. CBT Emphasizes Active Participation and Collaboration
Teamwork should be encouraged throughout the CBT sessions and when deciding what to do and how often to collaborate together. The patient should also actively participate in the process to ensure a lasting impact on the treatment.
2. CBT Is Based on Evolving Formulation of Patients’ Individual Problems
Each patient has their own individual conceptualization in cognitive terms.
To identify a patient’s current problematic behaviors or thinking patterns, you must consider several factors, including the patient’s life experiences during childhood and during the therapy sessions.
This conceptualization is refined every session as more information is availed.
3. CBT Requires Sound Therapeutic Alliances
It’s critical to have a strong, trusting relationship between the patient and the therapist.
Additionally, the therapist should provide:
4. CBT Is Problem-Focused and Goal-Oriented
The patient needs to set specific goals during the first sessions. By setting goals, the patient can evaluate and respond to negative thoughts that interfere with their goals. This helps the patient identify and interrupt such thoughts.
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5. CBT Teaches Patients to Accurately Identify, Analyze, and React to Their Dysfunctional Beliefs and Thoughts
CBT therapists should help patients identify key cognitions and adopt realistic, rational perspectives. This can be accomplished through guided discovery by questioning negative thoughts to analyze their thinking.
The therapist may also create behavioral experiments to directly test the patient’s thinking.
6. CBT Uses Different Techniques to Change Mood, Thinking, and Behavior
Behavioral and problem-solving techniques play a vital role in CBT. However, the specific techniques the therapist selects depend on the client’s conceptualization, your objectives for the session, and the problem you are discussing.
7. CBT First Emphasizes the Present
A CBT treatment should be focused on the patient’s current problems and the specific situations that distress them.
CBT may only consider the past if the patient is stuck in dysfunctional thinking and attempts to understand their childhood to potentially help modify their core beliefs.
8. CBT Is Educative and Encourages Patient to Be Their Own Therapist
It’s important to teach the patient to understand the entire process, how their thoughts affect emotions and behavior, and how to identify and evaluate those thoughts and beliefs. Additionally, patients need to plan for behavioral changes as an essential part of CBT.
9. CBT Aims to Be Time-Limited
Simple anxiety and depression can be treated within 6 to 14 sessions. However, situations with more severe mental illnesses and strong beliefs can be treated in a time frame ranging from a few months to several years if necessary.
10. CBT Sessions Are Structured
Structured treatments help maximize efficiency and effectiveness. The process includes doing a mood check, collaboratively setting the agenda for the session, and having a brief review of the week.
This is followed by:
- Reviewing homework
- Setting new homework
- Discussing problems on the agenda
- Summarizing the outcome
Benefits of Group Therapy
CBT group therapy allows participants to learn strategies and techniques to cope with:
- Depressive thoughts
Group therapy aims to help individuals become more aware of their anxious and depressive thought patterns and behaviors.
In every session, participants learn specific skills to:
- Help them feel better
- Manage, and cope with their difficulties
- Reduce the risk of future relapse
Through group therapies, participants also learn how to:
- Challenge and stop any negative thoughts
- Stop ruminating
- Develop new healthy core beliefs and behaviors
- Change unhelpful thinking patterns and develop fresh new ways of thinking
- Create behavioral experiments to overcome depressive and anxious beliefs
- Prepare action plans to solve day to day difficulties
- Question negative core beliefs
- Get the support of people with similar difficulties
- Receive psycho-education about mental illnesses and how to manage them
- Get a sense of hope by feeling in control of their mental health
How Long Does Traditional Psychoanalysis Typically Last?
Successful treatment often hinges on your ability to confront potentially triggering or stressful experiences.
Research suggests that both short- and long-term psychoanalytic therapy can help treat a range of conditions. Long-term psychoanalytic therapy usually lasts one year or 50 sessions.
On the other hand, short-term psychoanalytic therapy lasts less than one year or fewer than 40 sessions.
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