Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (commonly abbreviated as “CBT”) is a form of psychotherapy (commonly known as talk-therapy, as contrary to biomedical therapy which involves the use of medication) that had been known for its effectiveness against “depression, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug use problems, marital problems, eating disorders and severe mental illness” (American Psychological Association). CBT believes that psychological problems are based on faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking or learned patterns of unhelpful behavior and learn better ways of coping with them. This therapy is successful in delivering promising results in order to help people lead better lives. Although for extreme mood disorders such as Bipolar disorder and psychotic disorders such as Schizophrenia, this therapy can work effectively with medications such as Thorazine for psychotic disorders, and Lithium for mood disorders.
An example of this therapy being used for anxiety disorders such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder(OCD) involves the person saying that their brain has a compulsive urge and attribute it to their brain’s abnormal activity, hence shifting attention from the thoughts themselves and preventing the action altogether. Another notable way is exposure therapy to help people face their fears, through methods such as Systematic Desensitization which is also part of behavioral therapy, which involves slowly being exposed to your fears to get over them. The patient also learns to see the fear as something that is much smaller and not as scary as it should be. For instance, someone who is getting over their social anxiety, but has to engage in public speaking, will view the crowd as much smaller and will first begin by speaking to smaller groups of people. Furthermore, rather than seeing the crowd as intimidating, the speaker will see the crowd as simply impartial, leading the person to be able to speak with little to no hesitation.
This therapy is an effective intervention to treat disorders with little to no medical and/or surgical intervention. Moreover, this therapy is available to people of all ages and even those with preexisting conditions in order to help them with their mental health. Furthermore, it can be used to help deal with impulsive thoughts by evaluating them before carrying them out, and help people learn from previous actions undertaken that they may deeply regret.
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These are the sources I have utilized.
“What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?” Edited by Monson Resick, American Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, 2022, https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/patients-and-families/cognitive-behavioral
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