What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?


CBT is used to treat various issues, ranging from depression to anxiety. It stands as the top choice of psychotherapy because it aids in identifying certain challenges and teaches you how to cope and counter them.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of talk therapy that helps people figure out ways of noting and changing any destructive or disturbing thought pattern that negatively influences their behaviour and emotions. It is a form of psychological treatment that has proven effective on various problems, including depression, substance abuse, and marital issues, amongst others.

Multiple studies postulate that CBT helps in providing a strong improvement in behaviour and quality of life. When carried out alone or in combination with other therapies, it can be a very effective tool that focuses on substituting the automatic negative thoughts that worsens emotional difficulties and anxieties with positive and realistic thoughts.

Why is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Carried out?

CBT is used to treat various issues, ranging from depression to anxiety. It stands as the top choice of psychotherapy because it aids in identifying certain challenges and teaches you how to cope and counter them. CBT also helps in;

  • Treating mental illness when medications aren’t working well.
  • Identifying means of managing one’s emotions.
  • Managing symptoms of mental illness.
  • Understanding and using various methods to cope with stressful life situations.
  • Resolving conflicts in relationships.
  • Overcoming trauma from abuse or violence.

Some mental health disorders that can be corrected with CBT include;

  • Phobias
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Eating disorders
  • Sleep disorders
  • Substance use disorders

How Can I Prepare For A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Most times, CBT might be prescribed by a doctor after accessing your issues and complaints, or even people you know might refer it to you. But when you choose to give it a try yourself, there are some basic things you’ll need to do to enable you to get the best out of it. These include;

1.    Search For A Therapist

To get an effective therapy, you’ll need to get a good therapist. However, the doctor can provide a referral to you or even a friend. Also, since the world we live in is highly digital now, you can get a therapist online by searching the internet or even through your local or state psychological association. Someone will surely be available to reply to you.

But How Will I Know A Good Therapist?

When checking for a therapist, ensure you have a thorough look at their qualifications. You’ll need to check his or her;

  • Educational level and background: Highly trained psychotherapists can possess quite a number of job titles, most of which is certainly a master’s or doctoral degree with training in psychological counselling. Some medical doctors in this field can even prescribe medications and provide therapy.
  • Certification and Licensing: When seeking a therapist, always ensure they meet the state’s certification and has proper licensing for their area of expertise.
  • Field of Expertise: Always check/ask for a therapist with good knowledge and expertise in treating your issues. You can’t hire a therapist whose area of expertise is on phobia and expect better results when your concern is Bipolar disorder.

2.    Know The Cost

After finding a therapist, you’ll have to know how much it’d cost you for the therapy. Maybe you’ve got health insurance, and if you do, check for the coverage it provides for psychotherapy, as some health plans tend to cover not many therapy sessions each year. In addition, try to discuss the pricing with the therapist and have a clear view of how much everything will cost you to avoid inconveniences along the way.

3.    Have a Deep Self Examination

The main essence of hiring a therapist is to help deal with certain issues you’re facing. Try to figure out those issues you’ll like to work on before going on the therapy session. Though your therapist can help you work this out, at least have some knowledge of what you want before the appointment.

How Will My First Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Look Like?

The first CBT session is more of an information-gathering phase. The therapist will ask more questions about you and ask what you’ll like to work on. To better understand the issue, the therapist will also ask about your current and any past emotional and physical health.

Well, this session isn’t meant for the therapist alone, as you’ll have the chance to ask some questions to see if the therapist is the best at resolving the issue. If you’re not 100% comfortable with his or her approach and services offered, you can opt for another therapist. CBT is essential, and getting a good therapist entails having a good CBT.

What Are The Risks And Benefits Involved In Getting A CBT?

CBT isn’t just about identifying negative thought patterns; it is more concerned with using various strategies to aid in countering these negative thoughts. The main aim is to educate people more on the fact that since they can’t control every aspect of the world around them, they can take total charge of how they deal with things in their environment. Below are the main benefits of CBT.

  • It is Ideal for different dysfunctional behaviours.
  • It is relatively cheap when compared to other types of therapy.
  • CBT is highly effective both online and face-to-face.
  • It serves as a substitute for psychotropic medication.
  • Results can be seen within a small period.
  • It opens your mind to engage in better thinking patterns which aid in providing relief from depression and anxiety, amongst others.

Though CBT may look all great, and you’d want to jump right in. but mind you, there are some risks attached. Let’s have a look at them.

  • You’ll feel emotionally disturbed at times: CBT most times makes you freshen those painful memories and feelings you prayed never to remember again. You may sometimes feel bitter, cry or even angry during some sessions.
  • Other forms of CBT may require you to face situations you’ve been avoiding all this while. Let’s say you’ve got a phobia of flights. These sessions may require you to board a plane and face your fears. This, at times, leads to stress and anxiety, but you’ll surely get relieved with time.

With all these risks attached, it is, however, advised you work with a skilled therapist as you’ll get to learn some coping skills, which will see you through all these trials.

Final Words

CBT may not possibly give you a total cure to your condition or make it go away just like that. But it serves as a source of energy, strengthening you to cope with your situation smoothly, calmly, and healthy. So, what measures are you putting in place in preparation for your first Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?