5 Benefits of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
When it comes to our mental health, most of us only really think about it when something goes wrong. We might experience a period of stress or anxiety that we can’t seem to shake, or we might find ourselves in the grip of a depressive episode. But what if there were ways to proactively manage our mental health and build resilience? Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is one approach that has been shown to offer a range of benefits. In this post, we will explore five key advantages that cognitive behaviour therapy can offer you.
What is CBT?
Cognitive behaviour therapy is a form of psychotherapy that was developed by Aaron Beck and Albert Ellis in the 1960s. It’s based on the belief that our thoughts, feelings and behaviours are all interconnected.
CBT is a type of cognitive therapy that focuses on how our thoughts, feelings and behaviours are interconnected. It is a highly practical approach that can be tailored to meet the needs of each individual client. CBT has been shown to be effective in treating a range of disorders, including depression, anxiety, phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
By identifying cognitive distortions and negative thinking patterns, CBT can help you to learn how to challenge unhelpful thoughts. It also teaches techniques that can be used between sessions, such as cognitive restructuring, behavioural experiments and mindfulness meditation. These practical tools provide individuals with the means to manage their own mental health more effectively. CBT is usually carried out over a period of six to twelve sessions, although this will vary depending on the individual.
Neuroscience and cognitive behaviour therapy
Some people believe that CBT is simply ‘talking therapy”, but cognitive behaviour therapy has its foundations in neuroscience. By exploring their thoughts and feelings with a therapist, clients are given the opportunity to observe how these interact with their behaviour. This in turn can help to change the way that they think and feel about themselves, which leads to long-term changes in cognitive function and neuroplasticity.
Different types of CBT
Before we look at the five benefits of cognitive behaviour therapy, it’s important to note that there are different types of CBT. The approach that is going to be most effective for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Some common variants include:
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
This is the most common type of cognitive behaviour therapy, and it focuses on the thoughts and beliefs that we have about ourselves and the world around us. An example of CBT might be a person who struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). CBT would help this individual to identify those cognitive distortions and learn how to challenge them so that they can live life without being crippled by their fears and anxieties.
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
An off shoot of Cognitive behaviour Therapy is Dialectical behaviour therapy, which was originally developed to help people who experience strong and intense emotions such as borderline personality disorder. This type of therapy helps individuals to develop interpersonal skills such as self-soothing and mindfulness so that they can regulate their emotions. This form of therapy is especially useful for people who have difficulty managing their emotions and relationships.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Another cognitive behaviour therapy that has gained popularity in recent years is acceptance and commitment therapy. ACT focuses on helping individuals to create a life worth living by using mindfulness techniques so that they can accept those things that they cannot change and focus on the things that are within their control by taking committed action. Moreover ACT helps you to align with your values through psychological flexibility, see the self as context whist and open up to facilitate acceptance of painful experiences.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
The final type of cognitive behaviour therapy that we will mention is mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. This type of cognitive behavioural therapy combines the principles of mindfulness with cognitive therapy, and it has been shown to be effective in preventing relapse in people who have suffered from depression. A practical example of MBCT in action would be a person who has had a panic attack in the past and is now fearful of having another one. In this situation, MBCT would help individuals to become more aware of their thoughts and feelings so that they can manage them more effectively.
Each of these approaches has its own unique set of benefits, so it’s important to find the one that is best suited to you.
Five benefits of cognitive behaviour therapy
Now that you know a little bit about cognitive behaviour therapies, let’s look at five of the main benefits.
1) CBT can help you to understand how your thoughts and feelings affect your behaviour
One of the main cognitive behavioural therapy techniques is thought challenging, which helps individuals become more aware of their cognitive distortions and learn how to challenge them effectively. Cognitive behaviour therapy is useful for people who want to learn how to manage their thoughts and feelings more effectively so that they can live happier and more productive life.
Often in life many of us live with cognitive distortions that prevent us from being happy and fulfilled. For example, a person who suffers from depression may feel experience a negative bias or dichotomous thinking like they are not good enough because of their cognitive distortions such as:
‘I am worthless.’ ‘I will never amount to anything in life.’
These cognitive distortions cause this individual to believe that they are not good enough, and this prevents them from experiencing a sense of enjoyment and achievement and not achieving their goals in life . Cognitive behaviour therapy can help individuals to identify these cognitive distortions so that they can manage them more effectively.
2) CBT can help you to regulate your emotions
In your day to day life, it’s inevitable that you will experience a range of emotions. However, for some people, these emotions can become overwhelming and lead to unhelpful or destructive behaviours. Cognitive behaviour therapy is effective in helping people to manage their emotions following increased self-awareness which helps with building emotional Intelligence.
3) CBT can help you to live a more meaningful life
When we are caught up in our cognitive distortions and thoughts it can be difficult to see what is truly important in life. Cognitive behavioural therapy helps individuals to achieve this by allowing them to explore their core values and personal therapeutic goals . Once individuals have a better understanding of what is important to them, they can then start to take steps towards achieving these things which will increase happiness and enhance purposeful living.
4) It can help improve your mood and reduce anxiety levels
CBT is one of the most effective cognitive behavioural therapies for treating mood disorders such as depression .. CBT can help individuals to identify self-sabotaging thoughts including core beliefs, underlying assumptions, and automatic thoughts. Cognitive distortions can fuel these beliefs an perpetuate feelings of depression or anxiety. CBT provides relief and hope for those experiencing anxiety and depression through evidence-based strategies including behavioural experiments, dropping of unhelpful safety behaviours which may be maintaining the emotional distress. Breathing exercises, relaxation and problem solving are effective tools to boost mood and reduce anxiety
One study found that 70% of people who took part in cognitive behaviour therapy showed a significant improvement in their mood and that this improvement lasted up to six months after the therapy had finished.
5) It’s a collaborative approach, which means you work with your therapist to come up with solutions that work for you
In some other types of therapy, the therapist will tell you what to do and how to do it. However, cognitive behavioural therapy is a collaborative approach, which means that you work with your therapist to come up with solutions that work for you. This allows you to have more control over your life and helps to build your resilience so that future challenges can be faced head-on.
In CBT your therapist will ask you a lot of questions about your life and the thoughts and feelings that you are currently experiencing. This will help them to get a better understanding of your emotional experiences, stressors, cognitive distortions, and it will also allow them to develop a treatment plan that is tailored specifically for you.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is a very effective treatment for mental health conditions, and it has been proven to be the most successful type of psychotherapy. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is recommended by the NICE Guidelines for the treatment of depression, anxiety and schizophrenia.
It’s also not as expensive as you might think! Book a Call with us today to see if we’re a good fit
Accredited Cognitive Behaviour