Every year, more than 17 million individuals in the United States deal with depression. Depression, characterized by disruptions in a person's emotions, behavior, and thoughts, deprives a person of their ability to experience pleasure in life. Patients often experience a state of near-total numbness or persistent grief. The psychiatrist will typically recommend the proper treatment…
What Is Cognitive Therapy in Psychiatry?
The field of psychiatry incorporates both pharmaceutical and verbal therapy to assist people with emotional issues that impede a healthy and happy life. Sometimes, these issues are so overwhelming that they render a person almost entirely unable to function. Pulling someone out of this depressive state may require a psychiatrist to utilize various methods. A popular way therapists achieve breakthroughs with patients involves cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). In this type of psychotherapeutic treatment, a patient finds ways to identify deep-seated emotions that impede one or more areas of their life. Let us explore how cognitive therapy works and the ways that it helps.
Psychiatry and cognitive behavioral therapy
CBT hinges on the principle that a person's thoughts and feelings greatly influence mood and behavior. According to VeryWellMind, a therapist strives to implement a treatment plan that gets to the root of the patient's problem by exploring the underlying emotions and thoughts driving the conflict. When a psychiatrist introduces CBT, it often begins with an exploration of events that may play an integral part in the formation of negative thoughts and feelings.
Categories of cognitive therapy
Therapists understand that some patients respond better to CBT than others. There are a few behavior patterns that are more easily redirected with the help of CBT. These conditions tend to center around an unhealthy thought process that creates self-destructive thoughts and leads to damaging behavior.
Automatic negative thoughts
Things that therapists deal with during CBT include thoughts that negatively influence mood and behavior. These negative thoughts spontaneously enter a person's mind and are immediately accepted as true without any context or reason. Automatic negative thoughts are among the most challenging patterns to break because patients have little or no conscious control over them. When this type of negative pattern continues, one's overall mood is affected. The therapist works through triggers for these thoughts and ways to redirect thinking through CBT.
Rational emotive behavior
Some patients go to therapy for help with irrational fears and thoughts. During CBT, psychiatrists delve into these fears, challenging them at every turn. For instance, a patient may have a fear of flying without ever having tried it. With no traumatic event to explain the fear, a therapist will conclude that it is an irrational and unfounded fear that needs disproving. This method of invalidation eventually weakens the patient's connection and belief in these baseless fears.
Patients who experience disruptive and distorted thinking behaviors benefit from CBT. These distorted thinking patterns lead to self-defeating and dangerous internal dialogue. Here are a few of the most common examples:
- Predicting the outcome of an event that has not occurred
- Believing that others have formed a negative opinion before engaging in conversation
- Giving up prematurely because of the certainty of failure
Psychiatrists work hard to dispel these intrusive patterns by helping patients understand when and why they began.
Frequently asked questions about cognitive therapy
Many patients believe that cognitive therapy might be right for them. Let us go over the answers to a few of the most common questions about CBT.
1. Who can cognitive therapy help?
Cognitive therapy can effectively treat mental disorders like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, posttraumatic disorder, depression, insomnia, anxiety, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, insomnia, and autism.
2. How does CBT work?
Many mental disorders are caused by problematic behaviors and thinking patterns that lead to functional and emotional impairments. Cognitive therapy works by helping patients adopt healthier behavioral and thinking patterns. Psychiatrists work with their patients to set treatment goals that are used to assess their progression.
The three core strategies used in cognitive therapy include being exposed to uncomfortable situations or thoughts, scheduling pleasant activities to reinforce positive behaviors, and pinpointing and challenging problematic beliefs and thoughts.
3. Does cognitive therapy help with depression?
Cognitive therapy can be helpful for people with depression. The psychiatrist can use this psychiatry technique to identify and target behavior or thoughts that cause the patient's depression. Changes made in either department often help alleviate depressive symptoms.
Cognitive therapy can also be used to challenge the patient's thoughts to create more positive thinking patterns. For example, the therapist might challenge a patient's feelings of hopelessness by getting them to think about positive memories. Therapists can also help remove negative behaviors by helping their patients schedule their daily lives, including pleasurable activities that align with their values.
The science behind psychiatry enables therapists to delve into a person's innermost thoughts and break unhealthy and destructive patterns. With the help of CBT, a patient may find that life is not overwhelming.
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