Cognitive-behavioral therapy: what is it and when is it recommended?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy can be used in many cases: depression, anxiety, addictions, bipolar disorder. What techniques does he use? We tell you.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy: what is it and when is it recommended?

Last update: August 07, 2022

Psychology has different types of therapeutic proposals. One of these, which is widely used, is cognitive behavioral therapy.

For specialists, it is easy to differentiate them. However, for those consulting, it can sometimes be overwhelming trying to figure out what is best for them to choose from such a wide range of options.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

When we talk about cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), we are referring to a generic term under which different therapeutic proposals are included aimed at improving a person’s quality of life, from reducing dysfunctional emotions and behaviors, to intervening in their cognitions and thought patterns.

In other words, it influences the way a person interprets or thinks about reality or a certain issue, which affects how they feel and act.

Taking this as a starting point, cognitive behavioral therapy argues that people pay more attention to how they feel about a situation or environment rather than the situation or environment itself. . This construction is linked to both internal and external factors.

Thoughts about a situation can be more important to a person than the situation itself.

The role of cognitive biases

In many cases, people act under cognitive biaseswhich are distortions of information:

  • Arbitrary inference: when we jump to a conclusion, even in the absence of sufficient evidence or information.
  • Selective abstraction: we only notice a detail of a whole situation.
  • Generalization: From one or more isolated episodes, we establish a general conclusion, which we apply without distinction, whether or not it is linked to a particular situation.
  • dramatization: take a situation to the negative extreme.

Thus, the TCC seeks to identify in detail what are these lenses with which we read and calibrate reality in order to break them down, discuss their bases and propose more functional and healthy alternatives for the person.

Unlike other streams, cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on the here and now. Your goal is not to constantly dig into the past unless you find useful information there.

It is also not interested in elements of the unconscious, but rather in the whole flow of thoughts, emotions and attitudes experienced by consultants.

Types of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

As we mentioned, These therapies have different proposals, that involve some variation in their methods or approach. Some of the best known are:

When is cognitive behavioral therapy recommended?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is used in many cases. Among the main indications we find the following:

  • The Depression.
  • Dependencies.
  • Anxiety disorders.
  • Different types of phobia.
  • Sleep problems.
  • sexual disorders
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorders.

It also applies to individual cases and couples.

However, it is important to note that You don’t have to have a serious or complex disorder or problem to start cognitive behavioral therapy. Since it is addressed and front triplesuch as thoughts, emotions and behaviors, can also help us find resources for stressful situations and improve the management of our emotions.

It uses many techniques that are easy to apply and very useful for patients to acquire resources to practice outside of the session. Uses cognitive techniques, i.e. oriented towards working with thoughts, beliefs and cognitions.

For example, through self-dialogue, with the aim of questioning and discussing one’s own thoughts, instead of accepting them uncritically. In turn, he uses behavioral techniques aimed at intervening in behavior. The modeling it is one of the best known behavioral techniques; It consists in teaching the patient to do something, in showing him how to do it.

Self-dialogue offers an inner conversation to debate with thoughts and not assume them without questioning.

The importance of being informed about the type of therapy

By way of summary, we can say that the main postulates of CBT are the following:

  • Gives an active and leading role to the patient, inviting you to become more aware of your thoughts, how you feel and how you act.
  • Has an optimistic view of change since he considers that the vast majority of experiences are related to learning. Therefore, it can be learned and unlearned.
  • It is a fairly brief type of therapy, about 20 sessions. Then it can be continued with follow-up sessions.

It is very important to emphasize the importance of learning about the types of therapies that exist before starting one. Here, the commitment is also that of the professionals, who should explain in a simple way what type of therapy they perform, what are its benefits and how it works.

In this way, the patient can exercise his right to decide what is best for him. In addition, treatment compliance is improved.

At a time, who consults must inquire beforehand and be able to ask the necessary questions, removing doubts about him. Psychotherapy will be your space to think about yourself and understand how to use it well is beneficial.

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