Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Children

CBT for Children

CBT Treatment

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an empirically-based treatment for psychological disorders of adults, adolescents and children. Cognitive behavioral therapy for the treatment of children has been effective in the treatment of anxiety, depression and behavioral problems. There are various challenges a cognitive behavioral therapist may face when working with children.

Challenges for Child Therapy

Rapport building is one of the first hurdles in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for children. A cognitive behavioral therapist must be vigilant of the child’s motivation to engage in treatment and work with the child at his own level. Cognitive behavioral therapists often choose to meet with the child along with his parents during the first few sessions, especially if separation anxiety is prominent. Report building techniques may include playing games, coloring or drawing. Once the child appears ready to meet with the cognitive behavioral therapist alone, the therapist may excuse the parents to the waiting area and spend some time alone with the child for a limited period. Cognitive behavioral therapist must be sure not to overload a sensitive child with numerous questions or material that is to psychologically laden, especially during the beginning of that therapeutic alliance. Rapport building should do just that, slowly build a therapeutic relationship between the cognitive behavioral therapist and child. Once the therapist is confident that the therapeutic alliance has been established, she may move toward other therapeutic techniques to reach specific emotional and behavioral goals that had been set by the therapist, child and parent.

CBT Goal Setting

During cognitive behavioral therapy for children, it is important to set behavioral and emotional goals in conjunction with the parents and child. Parents play an integral role in treatment when cognitive behavioral techniques are used. Behavioral goals must be specific and address particular behaviors that the child exhibits. Children are often seen for cognitive behavioral therapy with goals of reducing defined behaviors and improving emotional control.

CBT Treatment Planning

If children are being seen for cognitive behavioral therapy for the reduction of maladaptive behaviors, it is important to set a specific goal. For children under the age of seven, it is quite often that a cognitive behavioral therapist will meet alone with the parents without the children. Parenting skills training may be a key component in addressing behavior problems in children. While it is important for the child to understand the behavioral modification system put in place, the parents often need education and guidance about how to implement the program before it begins. Parents are first provided with psychoeducation about behavioral management. This means that the parents must first identify triggers that set off the child maladaptive behavior. Triggers are often something that has occurred in the environment that prompt the child to behave in a specific way. Triggers may also involve internal factors, such as the child’s mood, fatigue or if the child has eaten. Once triggers have been identified the therapist works with the parents to either help prevent these triggers from occurring or learn techniques to prevent the child’s behavior from escalating if a trigger is unavoidable. Psycho education to parents also involves teaching them about reinforcing consequences for the child’s behavior. One type of reinforcing consequence is parental attention. If the therapist and parents determine the function behind the child’s behavior is to gain the attention of his/her parent, ignoring would be a useful technique that parents can use to extinguish an unwanted behavior. Children may also behave in certain ways to escape or avoid a certain task. If the function of a child’s behavior is escape/avoidance, a therapist will work with parents to provide consistency and enforce rules and a household so that a child is not escaping certain tasks by behaving in an inappropriate way.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Substance Abuse

CBT and Substance Abuse

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Addiction

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been used to treat substance abuse disorders and addiction in general. Substance abuse disorders involved for current use of the substance, despite attempts to stop using it. Substance abuse disorders involve impairment in one social, occupational or interpersonal relationship functioning. Substance abuse disorders involve substances of all kinds, including alcohol and drugs.

Therapists Identify Triggers

Cognitive behavioral therapists may work with substance abusers by first identifying the triggers for his or her use. Triggers may involve external experiences as well as internal cues. External cues that may trigger substance use involve particular people, places or things which the client associates with substance use. One common technique used cognitive behavioral therapists in the treatment of substance abuse is for the client to avoid identified triggers. This means the client would stop associating with certain people are going to certain places where he used substances. Cognitive behavioral therapists will also identify if the client is using substances to avoid or escape any negative emotions. It is often the case that people use substances to avoid feelings of depression, anxiety or anger because it provides an immediate relief of these issues, although the long-term negative con sequences are detrimental. Help clients to identify the negative emotion that the client may be escaping and work with the client to reduce this emotion by other means rather than substance abuse. A cognitive behavioral therapist may explore the thoughts that are associated with this negative emotion and teach the client to restructure these thoughts. Cognitive behavioral therapist will work with clients to restructure thoughts which thereby reduce negative emotions. Cognitive behavioral therapist also teach clients how to manage their urges. Cognitive behavioral therapist may use acceptance-based techniques to teach clients how to wait for an urge to pass rather than give in to the urge with using substances. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is an umbrella that includes acceptance based treatments, such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).  These acceptance based treatments emphasize allowing urges to come and go instead of trying to struggle with them or change them.

CBT Therapists Utilize Mindfulness

Cognitive behavioral therapists may teach substance abusers to tackle their substance abuse issue by focusing on the moment. Focusing on one specific day at a time, even one moment at a time, is more effective in the treatment of substance abuse than forecasting abstinence for one’s lifetime. Imagining remaining abstinent for extended periods of time may be overwhelming for someone with that substance abuse problem, which is why it is useful to tackle the problem one day at a time. Meditation techniques may be helpful in helping the client to recognize physical sensations in his body, including feeling an urge to use substances. Being aware of these feelings, rather than automatically responding to them, is an effective way to manage them and reach behavioral goals.

Substance Abuse Treatment

Sometimes when people who use substances receive treatment, it is not on their own volition. It is often the case where friends or family members encourage a client to seek out treatment, but a clients is in denial that there is a problem. Cognitive behavioral therapists may use motivational enhancement techniques to help the client see for himself that their substance use is a problem. Working with the client to identify negative consequences of his substance abuse is one technique used in motivational enhancement therapy. It is not until the client has accepted there is a problem and is ready to make a change that change can be made. Sometimes sessions are held with collaterals, including family members or friends, to help the client see how much his substance abuse is affecting others. Cognitive behavioral therapists work with people use substances to identify how their interpersonal relationships may have been affected and work with them to remediate these relationships. Cognitive behavioral therapist may encourage their clients to reach out to various people who have been affected by the substance abuse and talk to them about how they now recognize the problem and there will definitely change.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and the Stages of Change

CBT and Stages of Change Model of Addiction

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an empirically tested treatment for mental health disorders. Cognitive behavioral therapists work with clients to identify his/her maladaptive thoughts and restructure these thoughts that they no longer produce negative emotions and behaviors. A cognitive behavioral therapist will often be phased with a scenario in which a person was prompted to go to therapy by a friend, spouse or family member. It is often the case in which a client does not have insight or awareness into the problems with his psychological and behavioral functioning. At these times a primary goal in psychotherapy is to help the client gain insight into the benefits of psychotherapy. Cognitive behavioral therapists determine which stage of change their clients are in at any given time.

Stages of Change

Prochaska and Declemente’s Stages of Change Model addresses different levels a person may be on when considering change, especially addiction. Cognitive behavioral therapist may review this model with clients to help them identify which stage of change they are in at any given point. The first stage of this model is called the precontemplation phase. During the precontemplation phase clients deny that they have any problems and lack awareness into their psychological functioning. It is often seen in cases in which anger management is a goal that clients are in the precontemplation phase. Cognitive behavioral therapists often see clients for anger management were preferred by a family member or spouse. If a client is in the precontemplation phase change, the cognitive behavioral therapists will work with the client to help him see on his own the benefits of engaging in psychotherapy and the negative consequences of his anger expression. The second stage of change is called the contemplation stage. In this stage a client is considering making a change, although has not taken steps to do so. Cognitive behavioral therapists work with clients in the contemplation stage to help them move to the next phase called the action stage. In the action stage clients are willing to make a change, recognize their own shortcomings and problems and take active steps to remediate them. In the action phase a client is a willing participant and is fully engaged in treatment. The final stage of Prochaska and Declemente’s stages of change model is called in the maintenance phase. During the maintenance phase the client has already achieved his goals in the action phase and works toward maintaining these gains.

Substance Abuse and Stages of Change

The stages of change model is often used by cognitive behavioral therapies in the treatment of substance abuse. As noted above, it is often the case where substance abusers are encouraged to attend treatment while in the precontemplation phase. That is, they deny the existence of a problem, though their substance abuse has likely negatively impacted friends, family members and various domains of the client’s life. Cognitive behavioral therapists treating substance abuse disorders youth motivational enhancement techniques to help the client see the negative consequences of his substance abuse and come to a realization on his own and he would benefit from psychotherapy to help remediate the problem. It is also the case in substance abuse treatment that clients continue to necessitate therapy during the maintenance phase. Especially in the beginning of the maintenance phase, clients benefit from support of their cognitive behavioral therapists to help resist relapse. Cognitive behavioral therapists will decrease the frequency of sessions as clinically indicated, based on the client’s progress. With regard to substance abuse, the longer the client has remained abstinent the better the prognosis.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapists

Cognitive behavioral therapist may address the stages of change model in both the individual psychotherapy and group psychotherapy formats. In group psychotherapy group members may relate to one another and offer narratives about how they each progressed through the various stages of change.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for the Treatment of Social Phobia

CBT for the Treatment of Social Phobia

Social Phobia

Social phobia is an anxiety disorder that involves the client’s fear of being negatively evaluated in social situations. Social phobia can be quite debilitating in that people will avoid certain social situations and may become severe to the point where a person isolates most of the time. Social phobia is often the underlying issue when a person is shy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an empirically supported psychotherapy approach in treating social phobia. Different types of psychotherapy have been practiced, including Albert Ellis’s Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy and Aaron Beck’s Cognitive Therapy. With regard to social phobia, cognitive behavioral therapists focus on changing the client’s maladaptive beliefs about the social situation, thereby changing the person’s level of distress and maladaptive behaviors (avoiding social situations). Some of the common maladaptive thoughts that cognitive behavioral therapists may identify in treating clients with social phobia include, “What if they don’t like me,” “What if they think I’m stupid, “and “What if they think I’m boring?” People with anxiety disorders often have maladaptive thoughts starting with “what if.” This type of maladaptive thought, according to Beck’s cognitive therapy, is called “fortunetelling.” Cognitive behavioral therapists would identify “what if” thoughts as “distorted automatic thoughts” in that they occur frequently and automatically for those experiencing anxiety, in this case social phobia. The cognitive behavioral therapist well attempt to restructure the client’s thought providing evidence for and against the reasons why other people would and would not think these things about the client. The cognitive behavioral therapist assesses how much the client truly believes these things will occur. For example, if the client thinks “They will think I’m stupid,” the cognitive behavioral therapist asks the client what percentage he actually believes this is true. Typically, the anxious client will report he believes close to 100% that this is true. The cognitive behavioral therapist will then help the client to provide evidence contrary to the maladaptive thought. Once the client formulates a new, more rational, thought his level of believing the original thought usually comes down, and so does his level of anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapist will assign their clients to complete thought logs as work assignments to track their specific thoughts associated with social anxiety. Homework is reviewed in subsequent sessions until the client is eventually able to dispute his thoughts on his own.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapists Help

Cognitive behavioral therapists help clients to learn coping statements to say to themselves when in anxiety provoking situations. With regard to social phobia, therapists will have clients practice saying statement such as, “The last time I thought no one liked me I wound up making friends,” and “While I prefer that people like me it is not the end of the world if they don’t.” Cognitive behavioral therapists help clients to stop “catastrophizing” about a situation, meaning to stop taking small trivial situations and perceiving them to be catastrophic. It is a competent cognitive behavioral therapist who will work with the client so he sees on his own that his thoughts unrealistically place too much emphasis on menial social situations. A technique used and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy is called a “shame attack.” During a shame attack a client puts himself in numerous and awkward social situations with the goal of helping the client to realize that is not the end of the world if he is socially turned down in certain situations. This technique is especially useful for people who are socially anxious when it comes to the dating scene. A cognitive behavioral therapist may assign his client to ask out numerous women on dates, which will likely end in some rejections. Getting the client to see that these rejections are not the end of the world is an effective treatment for social phobia.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Progressive Muscle Relaxation

CBT and Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Cognitive Behavior Therapy Techniques

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that is used to treat various mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety and anger. Cognitive behavioral therapists focus on their clients thoughts, which thereby improve their maladaptive emotions and behaviors. Cognitive behavioral therapist also use various techniques to help their clients physiologically relax, especially those experiencing anxiety.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation for Anxiety

One common technique used to help those experiencing anxiety is called progressive muscle relaxation (PMR). It involves teaching a client to tense and relax each body part one at a time. The premise behind progressive muscle relaxation is that a human being can not experience arousal and tension at the same time. By having a client relaxes body he is unable to be anxious at the same time. Cognitive behavioral therapists will perform progressive muscle relaxation exercises within psychotherapy sessions. Cognitive behavioral therapist may also make audiotapes of themselves doing progressive muscle relaxation exercises and give them to their clients to do during the week for homework. Progressive muscle relaxation exercises may be done routinely or before an anxiety provoking event. Progressive muscle relaxation techniques may also be used to help people who experiencing insomnia and have difficulty sleeping.

PMR Conducted by a CBT Therapist

Cognitive behavioral therapist will talk to their clients about the technique of progress on muscle relaxation before having them engage in the exercise. Cognitive behavioral therapists will explain to their clients that they are about to tense each muscle one at a time to about 75% capacity. Cognitive behavioral therapist will explain to their clients that they’re going to hold various positions for several seconds and then relaxed that exact body part. Body parts that are tensed and relaxed and progressive muscle relaxation include hands, arms, feet, legs, torso, shoulders, neck, back, abdomen and face. A full progressive muscle relaxation exercise takes approximately 30 minutes. Cognitive behavioral therapist may shorten the exercise in session so they have enough time to discuss the clients reaction and other matters in the session. However, if given progressive muscle relaxation as homework assignments, client should engage in the full 30 minute exercise.

Cognitive behavioral therapist may notice that their clients have different reactions to progressive muscle relaxation exercises. Some clients may fall asleep and become lethargic during session during exercise. Some clients may say their body is extremely relaxed after the exercise. Other clients may experience the jitteriness or have difficulty staying still during the exercise. These client should practice the exercise at home, with the goal of engaging in the full 30 minutes to the point of relaxation. One of the key components to progressive muscle relaxation is to have the clients notice the difference between how their body feels when it is tense versus when it is relaxed. It teaches clients to relax each muscle of their body upon verbal cues, which will be quite helpful in anxiety provoking situations and in general.

Numerous Relaxation Exercises Exist

Various types of relaxation exercises are effective in treating people with anxiety and other mental health disorders. Deep breathing may be used in conjunction with progressive muscle relaxation. Cognitive behavioral therapist may teach their clients deep breathing exercises, such as diaphragmatic breathing. This involves having the clients breathe deeply from their abdomen, rather than shallow breathing from their chests. Progressive muscle relaxation in conjunction with deep breathing are effective tools in relaxing. Cognitive behavioral therapist should work with their clients if they are having issues completing work assignments to help them overcome these barriers. These exercises are effectively done if a client is lying down on the floor. The goal of the exercises is not to fall asleep, but to relax one’s body while staying awake and alert.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

CBT for OCD

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder that involves the client experiencing obsessive thoughts and/or compulsive thoughts and/or behaviors. Obsessive thoughts, or up sessions, are intrusive thoughts that enter one’s mind involuntarily. While most people experience intrusive thoughts, it is someone who is diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder who becomes pretty occupied with these thoughts and harps on then to the extent that these thoughts now adaptively control his life. Compulsions are thoughts and/or behaviors that are meant to compensate for obsessions and get rid of anxiety. People engage in compulsive behaviors, such as hand washing, checking, engaging in rituals or ordering things to temporarily relieve anxiety that is caused by obsessive thoughts. Compulsions may also be phrases people say to themselves in their own heads to counteract the excessive thoughts, such as praying or counting to oneself.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is an empirically supported approach to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder. Cognitive behavioral therapists analyze specific components that play a role in a client’s disorder. The first component is the situation (sometimes called activating event) which is usually beyond the clients control. It is an external factor, such as someone shaking your hand or another person saying something negative about a family member of yours. The second component is the person’s thoughts or cognitions about the situation. People with excessive compulsive disorder tend to have rigid and persistent thoughts about a situation. For example someone may repeatedly think about how the germs from the person’s hand who they just shook may contaminate them and everything they touch. Obsessions are involuntary and unwanted thoughts, so a person with obsessive compulsive disorder tries to rid themselves of these intrusive negative thoughts. One way someone with excessive compulsive disorder may rid themselves of these thoughts is by engaging in a compulsion. For example, they may wash their hands in order to stop the thought that they have been contaminated. The last prominent component of obsessive-compulsive disorder is the anxiety factor. Obsessive thoughts cause anxiety, which in turn lead the clients to engaging compulsions to rid themselves of the anxiety. However, it is this technique of avoidance that only perpetuates the disorder and mixed things worse for the client.

Exposure and Response Prevention

Cognitive behavioral therapists often practice a technique called exposure and response prevention when treating people with obsessive compulsive disorder. Exposure involves having the client face his or her fears and not allowing them to escape or avoid them with compulsions. Using the example from above, someone with obsessive-compulsive disorder who has a fear of contamination may engage in an exposure session in which the therapist has the client get his hands dirty (exposure) and prevents him from washing his hands (response prevention). Exposure therapy is done over a number of sessions and has been shown effective in alleviating ones up sessions and compulsions.  Exposure with response prevention is often referred to as ERP.

Cognitive behavioral therapists also teach their clients to relate to their thoughts differently. People with obsessive compulsive disorder know that in reality their thoughts are realistic. However, when in a moment of upset saying they believe with certainty that these thoughts are true. Cognitive behavioral therapy has helped clients to distance themselves from these thoughts and recognize that the compulsions they engage in only perpetuate the up sessions. One technique used is to teach the client to postpone obsession time. A cognitive behavioral therapist may teach the client to postpone worrying about up sessions for five minutes. This technique allows the client to see that he actually has control over his thoughts, rather than the thoughts having control over him. Cognitive behavioral therapists practice exposure therapy in the session and also assign homework assignments to allow the client to practice exposure on his own for increased benefit.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Anxiety

CBT and Anxiety

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Anxiety

Anxiety is a mental health disorder that ranges from mild to severe and includes cognitive, emotional and behavioral problems. Anxiety can affect one’s functioning in various life domains, including social, familial and occupational. There are several types of anxiety disorders, including the following

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

GAD involves excessive worrying most of the time about various aspects of one’s life (e.g., health, occupation, family, etc.).

Panic Disorder with or without Agoraphobia

Panic Disorder involves recurrent panic attacks. Panic attacks are brief periods of intense anxiety that involve physiological symptoms, such as shortness of breath, increased heart rate, sweating and dizziness, and may also include thoughts that one is going crazy or is going to die. Panic Disorder involves recurrent panic attacks and worry about having another panic attack. Panic Disorder may become so severe that one does not leave his/her house and develops Agoraphobia, which is the fear of being in a place where it is hard or impossible to escape. For example, a person with Panic Disorder may have an intense fear of having a panic attack in a place where he/she cannot escape, like on a train or at a rock concert, so he/she avoids these types of places.

Specific Phobia

Phobias an intense fear of something specific, such as a place or thing. Specific Phobias are broken up into categories, including blood/injection phobia, heights or animals.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is an anxiety disorder that develops after a person is exposed to a traumatic event in which he/she faces a near-death experiences or observes someone else in a near death experience or in which the person’s integrity is significantly compromised. PTSD includes symptoms of the traumatic event recurring, such as in flashbacks or nightmares, physiological and/or psychological reactivity upon exposure to cues that resemble the traumatic event, avoidance of cues of the event and increased arousal (e.g., exaggerated startle response, hypervigilence).

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD involves the presence of obsessions (e.g., intrusive thoughts) and/or compulsions (e.g., behaviors and/or thoughts).

Anxiety Disorder NOS

Anxiety Disorder NOS exists when an individual does not meet diagnostic criteria for any specific anxiety disorder but has significant impairment due to anxiety. People who have anxiety and depression may fall into this category.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety

CBT has been shown to effectively treat anxiety disorders. It is am empirically-based treatment for these disorders. CBT is an umbrella term that is used to describe a type of psychotherapy that focuses on changing the patient’s thoughts and thereby changing his/her negative emotions and behaviors. There are different types of CBT that have been effective in treating anxiety, including Beck’s Cognitive Therapy, Albert Ellis’s Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy and Exposure Therapy with Response Prevention.

Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy is a type of behavior therapy that involves exposing the patient to the anxiety-provoking stimulus and preventing the person from escaping. For example, a dog phobic would slowly be exposed to a dog until the anxiety ameliorates. There are two types of exposure therapy: in vivo and imaginal. In vivo involves exposing the patient to the actual feared stimulus in real life, such as actually flying on an airplane with a flight phobic. However, there are times when in vivo exposure is not feasible and in which cases imaginal exsosure is used instead. Imaginal exposure involves having that patient imagine the feared stimulus while the therapist narrates a scene.

Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive Behavior Therapy involves analyzing the patient’s thoughts that are causing the anxiety and restructuring these thoughts, thereby decreasing the anxiety. For example, if a person’s cognitions are, “What if I fail the test? That would be awful. That would mean I’m a failure,” she will likely feel anxious. But is those thoughts are modified to, “If I fail one test that is no big deal,” the emotion that follows will likely not be anxiety.

Systematic Desensitization

Systematic Desensitization involves pairing relaxation with the anxiety-provoking stimulus, which will decrease one’s arousal. This type of psychotherapy is based on the premise that a person cannot be aroused and relaxed at the same time.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

PMR involves guiding the client through exercises aimed a relaxing body muscles one at a time. The patient is to tense a muscle and then relax that same muscle, paying particular attention to the differences between the physiological feelings between tension and relaxation.

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Breathing from one’s abdomen instead of chest has been shown to decrease arousal and provide a calming response. The therapist walks the client through the breathing exercises.

CBT and Addiction

CBT And Addiction

Cognitive Behavior Therapy CBT and Addiction

Addiction is one of the hardest things to overcome. It is not something you can take an anti-psychotic medication for and move on. They do not teach you to turn away from alcohol or drugs to help change the feelings you are experiencing. When you recover from an addiction, you will need resources to help break the chain of thoughts that you once had. When your chain of thought is experience something painful, turn to your addiction, feel better, and then hate yourself for turning to a chemical, it is time to break the cycle of negativity with a course of action that really works. Otherwise, this process constantly repeats until you seek assistance to break your cycle. The most effective treatment is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

Cognitive Behavior Therapy CBT Treatment Techniques

The two ways CBT can help an addict, is through Functional Analysis and Skill Training. Functional Analysis is when the therapist helps the addict identify his or her emotions and why he or she turns to a substance to deal with those emotions. If the addict knows how to deal with their emotions, then they are less likely to relapse after leaving treatment. With Skills Training, the addict is given the tools and resources to deal with specific situations and stresses. These resources are geared to help the recovering addict re-learn how to cope, and not use addictive substances that only mask the pain. CBT Therapists can provide patients suffering from addiction with a number of cognitive behavioral tools, as well as support.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Depression

CBT And Depression

Major Depressive Disorder – Depression

Suffering from Major Depressive Disorder can make living very difficult. Simply taking medication rarely helps, and worse, you are forced to either stay on them or suffer through bouts of depression againand again. That is because they do not teach you how to cope with your emotions. That is what Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, CBT, is for.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy CBT

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is extremely effective in treating depression. When meeting with a trained therapist, you will be given tools and resources to help you cope with your depression. This is done by taking your negative thinking and stops the process before it begins. For you to receive the full benefits of CBT, you will want to meet with your therapist every week for the first month, then every other week, and finally once a month. The idea is that you will take what you learn and through homework assignments, you will not need to talk to a therapist as often.

Cognitive Behavior Therapist

Your therapist will monitor your mood, your thought process, and see how active you are to determine the treatment course you need. This method is more effective than antidepressants, because you are given the tools to prevent depression from ruling your life. However, while you are in treatment, your therapist may want you to take medication to help in the restructuring process at first.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy or DBT is a four step process that deals with almost every sort of emotional issue as well as develops a person’s social skills and interactions. This type of therapy has been known to help individuals develop a person’s sense of self and alleviate the empty feelings that people often feel. The process is quite a depth into one’s soul and changes a person’s outlook on life and how they process feelings. The steps are as follows and how they work is quite interesting.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness: This process deals with a person’s emotions and how to effectively manage them. This is the core process on which DBT’s other 3 processes are managed. By putting emotions and their cause into perspective and being effective in dealing with them makes a person whole in nature and reduces negative effects on outlook and life in general. This process involves meditation which allows a person to calm their mind and emotions. By using meditation to look inward and examine emotion, one can alleviate the empty feelings of being alone.

Distress Tolerance

Distress Tolerance: This process of DBT puts perspective in place for the individual by making them look at themselves and their situation in a non-judgmental fashion. This takes the emotional sting out of a person’s situation and allows for introduction of solutions. This process allows the patient to push away negative thoughts and situations and perform activities they enjoy or find humor in things to force their mind to dwell on something else besides the negativity of their situation. This part of the process also involves self-soothing which helps a person calm themselves in moments of anxiety or anger over a situation. This assists with a person developing a strong sense of stability and helps them understand how others may have it far worse than they do.

Emotion Regulation

Emotion Regulation: This process helps the individual indentify emotions and the situations that cause them. They then identify the obstacles to changing the emotion and behavior and the apply distress tolerance techniques to overcome the emotion. They also learn the PLEASE method to master the physical body using proper sleep, diet, exercise and avoidance of drugs and alcohol. This greatly helps people who would otherwise feel alone and empty by bringing themselves into physical balance. Those who feel physically well often feel mentally and emotionally well too.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

Interpersonal Effectiveness: This process deals with how we as humans should properly deal with each other in relationships and society in general. Learning how to properly ask for what you want and be willing to assert yourself positively brings confidence and self esteem to an individual as well as giving them the skills to properly deal with things they want but do not get. This skill also teaches how to be willing to not only give of yourself to others but also how to properly say no to others. Learning not to be a pushover builds a sense of self and gives strength to the individual to evaluate requests of them. The patient learns how to properly communicate with others and be fair to those they deal with. Knowing how to properly attain and maintain relationships is the final step for those looking to escape the emptiness and the loneliness they often experience.