What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is based on the concept that the way we think affects how we feel emotionally.
Cognitive therapy focuses on present thinking, behavior, and communication rather than on past experiences (childhood experiences) and is oriented toward problem solving. Cognitive Behavioral therapy is probably the most widely utilized therapy in modern clinical psychology. It is used for a broad range of disorders including depression, anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, eating disorders, substance abuse, and personality problems.
CBT is a form of psychotherapy centered on understanding how our thoughts influence our behaviors. Becoming aware of our negative thinking patterns and how they limit our actions is the first step to change them. In anxiety disorders it is important to identify the source of limiting behaviors. For instance, someone had a previous panic attack in the past and now obsesses about having another one and is afraid of being more than five or six miles away from a hospital. We use cognitive behavioral therapy to facilitate behavioral changes in a wide variety of mental health disorders such as phobias, eating disorders, addiction, depression and anxiety.
In CBT typically we identify irrational or maladaptive thoughts, assumptions and beliefs that are related to debilitating negative emotions and learn how they are dysfunctional, inaccurate, or simply not helpful. This is done in an effort to reject the distorted cognitions and to replace them with more realistic and self-helping alternatives.
Cognitive behavioral therapy aids clients in weakening the connections between troublesome situations and habitual reactions these situations may cause. Habitual reactions or responses to situations can include fear, depression, rage, and self-defeating or self-damaging behaviors. Cognitive behavioral therapy illustrates the manner in which certain thinking patterns may contribute to an individual’s problems, and attempts to alter these thinking patterns for the better. Altering thinking patterns is often especially helpful in trauma recovery and eating disorder treatment.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is recognized as an extremely effective form of therapy. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) published a study on the use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and cocaine use showing the effectiveness of these techniques.
Numerous other outcome studies show that cognitive behavioral therapy in alcohol rehabilitation centers, and eating disorder treatments, can be more effective than medication in the treatment of depression, anxiety, obsessions and other fears. Therapy does not have the negative side effects of medications and it can be highly effective in preventing relapse as it provides patients with the opportunity to learn self-help strategies. CBT can provide a very powerful tool for stopping negative thought patterns and getting your life on a more satisfying track.
Specific benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy include:
- Reversing negative patterns of thinking, addressing bad habits
- Appropriately dealing with stress
- Calmly addressing fears
- New ways of learning and self-help techniques are developed
- Increase in self-esteem
- Decreased strain of depression in one’s life
- Facilitates different responses to negative situations
Who Can Benefit From Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
A variety of people can be helped with the assistance of cognitive behavioral therapy. Such people often are suffering from problems such as:
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Eating disorders (bulimia, anorexia, etc.)
- Panic attacks
- Poor relationships
- Substance abuse
At this time, Cognitive Behavioral interventions are the most effective treatments for methamphetamine addiction. It helps modify the patients’ thinking, expectations, and behaviors and to increase skills in coping with various life stressors.
What Others Say
I learned about Breathwork, it was great, and have been slowly decreasing my meds. In two weeks, my Ativan dosage is lowered from 2 mg to NONE and I’m slowly lowering my SSRI dosage. I think my EFT sessions with Lilia were most beneficial, a lot came out in those. Although I only had a few sessions of The Work, I find that I am able to use those tools, of understanding my thoughts, often.
I received more affective psychotherapy treatment from Lilia in five sessions than going to my therapist back home for weekly sessions over a year and a half. My first Reichian Breathwork session with Dr. Baylac healed my deep grief about losing my father two years ago. I have felt peace about him ever since. I received great insight and perspective on anything that had been upsetting me over the past 15 years.
Breathwork and EFT were most beneficial for me. I had been to counselors before and had not made much progress. My issues were on the surface at the retreat and both techniques really pulled stuff out. They were like an emotional castor oil pack – drawing the impurities out of my soul.
Part of my therapy for the month that I was there was breathwork. I had emotions that Dr. Baylac helped me discover and then let go of. Without going into too much detail I had a less than favorable childhood with an abusive father. The gently supportive breathwork helped me open up my blocked emotions that I held in my throat and my stomach.
At Hawaii Naturopathic Retreat we discuss feelings, learn mindfulness, process the past, grief and pain and explore ways of coping with anxiety, depression and fear. Don’t let the past or future paralyze you. Live the life you deserve!