20 Ways Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Improves Health
What is cognitive behavioral therapy?
Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a common type of psychotherapy; it is a combination of cognitive therapy, which focuses on moods and thoughts, and behavioral therapy, which focuses on actions and behaviors. It involves learning how to identify and change inaccurate or negative thoughts and behavioral patterns in order to respond to stressful situations in a more effective way.
CBT is an effective treatment for various mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder. It is beneficial for anyone learning to better manage stressful situations. CBT is also linked to reduced pain perception.
20 ways cognitive behavioral therapy can improve health
CBT is often a helpful component of pain management and provides coping skills for various mental health conditions. It empowers the ability to take control of health situations in a way that is both positive and productive. Below are examples of how CBT can improve health.
- Coping techniques for stress. Stress is experienced by everyone at some point. However, when stress begins to have a negative impact on well-being, CBT is beneficial.
- Grief. Loss is difficult and causes people to question why things happen in life. CBT helps reverse negative thinking patterns that develop as the result of a loss.
- Certain mental illness symptoms. When mental illness causes perceptions to become skewed, CBT can be used to examine the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Due to being goal oriented, it is a versatile mental illness treatment.
- Medical illness. Overcoming negative thoughts and fears, that often occur with a serious illness diagnosis, can improve physical health.
- Relapses. CBT focuses on teaching coping skills and encouraging their practices to effectively treat long-term mental illness and prevent relapse.
- Mental illness when medications are not a good option. CBT teaches how to cope with symptoms when medications are not a viable treatment option for a mental illness.
- Relationship skills. Flawed and destructive thoughts have negative influences on relationships. CBT provides strategies to reduce those impacts.
- Trauma. CBT helps work through mental and physical trauma. It teaches how to turn negative thoughts concerning the trauma into positive reflections.
- Sleep disorders. Many individuals with insomnia develop excessive worries about sleep. CBT helps individuals recognize and alter the thought process that causes sleep disorders.
- Depression. CBT involves learning how to identify, understand and change negative thought patterns and behaviors that are linked to depression. It helps to identify the problem and provides coping skills to reduce the symptoms of depression.
- Bipolar depression. When combined with medications, CBT provides techniques that help identify and change behaviors, emotions and thoughts.
- Schizophrenia. Although medicine treatment is typically recommended with schizophrenia, CBT provides skills for living with the condition. Long-term CBT is also beneficial with secondary issues that may arise with schizophrenia.
- Sexual disorders. CBT provides a safe place to discuss any negative thoughts or feelings that may contribute to sexual disorders.
- Eating disorders. Understanding and changing warped thinking can be accomplished with CBT. This helps to control behaviors and emotions that may lead to eating disorders.
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). CBT helps with identifying harmful patterns and beliefs that leave a negative impact on well-being. It helps change toxic thoughts and stop negative habits, while replacing them with healthier coping mechanisms.
- Anxiety. The most common type of psychotherapy for anxiety disorders is CBT. It is beneficial to recognize thought patterns and behaviors that lead to anxious feelings.
- Substance abuse. CBT can provide techniques to recognize and change behaviors that are associated with substance abuse or can cause a relapse.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). CBT involves learning to challenge and change unhelpful beliefs related to the traumatic event. This reduces the negative effects of the event on the person’s daily life.
- Phobias. Identifying false beliefs that negatively impact well-being helps individuals cope with phobias.
- Attention-deficit/hypersensitivity disorder (ADHD). CBT enhances a person’s confidence in their ability to control behaviors.