Are There Different Types Of Cognitive Therapy?

By Robert Porter|Updated May 16, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Lauren Guilbeault, LMHC

CBT is among today's most popular and common kinds of psychology treatment. This cognitive method of talk therapy is one of many very useful types for treating various mental health conditions. People seek out help from a cognitive-behavioral psychologist when managing depression, anxiety, eating disorders, addiction, and much more. Even those who are just going through stressful times in life can benefit from seeing a therapist.

But what are some different kinds of cognitive therapy treatments? Various kinds of cognitive-behavioral treatment are used today and will differ in some important ways. In this article, you will be able to learn about some different types of treatments including, online counseling, that are available. This will also show you what CBT is all about.

different methods of cognitive therapies -- some different methods of cognitive therapie

CBT Definition

The definition of cognitive therapy psychology is that it is a short-term form of cognitive therapy that is based around changing the way that people think about things while also changing how a person feels emotionally. This is a pretty broad definition, but it rings true. A cognitive-behavioral therapist is going to be working with patients to change their thought patterns, behaviors, and much more. Cognitive treatment can help people to stop focus on the negative aspects of their lives, allowing them to feel more positive and to naturally work toward healing.

Of course, therapies like this cognitive method are going to be an important part of treating many mental illnesses. There are some different types of therapies that are all cognitive-behavioral therapies by definition. Take a look at some of the different CT styles below to see which of them may appeal to you.

Cognitive-Behavioral Play Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral play therapy is a common variant of the therapy that is used when treating children. A cognitive therapist can gain many insights by simply watching children play. Children may be uncomfortable doing certain things or expressing themselves in certain ways. This will be shown during their sessions of cognitive play, and the therapist can take note of this information to come up with a treatment plan.

This type of cognitive behavioral therapy may involve asking a child to choose toys out of a large toy box and then simply letting them play freely. Other times, a cognitive therapist may ask a child to draw something or to try to use toys in creative ways. They can learn a lot through this process of cognitive behavioral therapy, and this can be very valuable for figuring out how to treat certain cognitive issues that a child may be experiencing. It is a fairly diverse form of cognitive therapy that has many practical uses.

Even parents will be able to benefit from this cognitive therapy. It can be used to teach parents how to communicate with their children better by playing with them. It is a variant of cognitive-behavioral therapy that has helped many children and families.

Types Of Cognitive Therapies

Aversion Therapy

Aversion therapy is traditionally used to help treat patients who are managing substance use. It is a commonly used treatment method know as a CT method to help alcoholics and those who manage substance use issues. This cognitive therapy works by teaching patients to associate what they are addicted to something extremely unpleasant. If patients can start associating alcohol with something that makes them uncomfortable, then they will eventually experience a cognitive change and start to avoid alcohol.

It can be a very effective way to help people who are using drugs or alcohol change their lives. One common way that this CT works is that a therapist will teach a patient to associate their addiction with a very unpleasant memory. There are other ways that this can work too, but this is the most typical cognitive one. Cognitive treatment is simply about conditioning the patient to want to avoid what they would normally desire.

System Desensitization Therapy

System desensitization therapy is a type of cognitive therapy that helps to treat those with phobias. People who are managing extreme fears will be able to benefit from this type of therapy. Cognitive treatment is all about changing your cognition so that you can eliminate your fear response. Cognitive patients are taught to eliminate their feelings of fear and anxiety by using various relaxation techniques.

Learning how to breathe and relax your mind is an important part of this cognitive therapy. Certain breathing techniques are going to be very beneficial. Cognitive patients who can make use of these techniques properly will be able to reduce their fear levels and feel more natural when exposed to what they fear over time. For many cognitive patients, this type of therapy has been able to eliminate their fears.

It should be noted that system desensitization therapy is often paired with cognitive exposure therapy. This involves the cognitive therapist exposing the patient to what they are afraid of. If a patient is afraid of spiders, then they may be shown videos or pictures of spiders and will then be tasked with going through their breathing exercises. It is a useful cognitive therapy that can change the way that people respond to the things that make them afraid.

Important Cognitive Therapy Techniques

When it comes to traditional therapy, a cognitive therapist is going to use many techniques to help their patients out. Some of these will be very important to the process and will carry over into all of the other branches of cognitive therapy. Others will be more common in the specific cognitive-behavioral therapy branch that is the most common.

One of the best cognitive therapy examples is cognitive restructuring. This technique involves helping people to identify negative thought patterns and emotions. Once these have been identified, cognitive patients will be able to work on replacing those negative thoughts with positive ones. It works fantastically to help people to stop focusing on the negative aspects of life.

Another good CT technique is known as an approximation. Have you ever had a hard time getting something done? Many people have difficulties with procrastinating due to being overwhelmed by a certain task. A cognitive therapist can teach a patient how to make use of approximation to break tasks down into more manageable chunks or to master a similar task before moving on to the task that they think is too tough for them.

It might seem like reading an entire book is going to be a daunting task. Reading just one chapter feels a lot more manageable, though. Changing your cognition can help you to get through tasks in life. Thinking about things and approaching them with a different mindset is a great way to accomplish your goals.

Mindfulness is also a well-known cognitive behavioral therapy technique. Many people even consider mindfulness-based therapy to be its branch of cognitive therapy. Regardless, you should know that mindfulness techniques teach you not to dwell on the negative aspects of life. Instead, you need to live in the moment and be mindful of your present situation.

If you tend to brood, then mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is going to be very helpful for you. It will give you a chance to refocus your attention on healthier things. It helps many people to avoid falling into patterns of depression or anxiety. This is an aspect of CT that is becoming increasingly more prevalent due to how successful it is.

CT for Anxiety – Does It Work?

different therapy modalities

People who manage anxiety often need the help of a skilled cognitive therapist to manage their condition. Anxiety can create severe problems in a person’s life, so it is important to be able to have access to the right help. Cognitive therapy has proven to be one of the most effective treatments for anxiety. Cognitive support helps people learn to avoid cognitive anxiety triggers while also addressing many of the causes of anxiety.

Changing your cognition can certainly make you less susceptible to anxiety attacks and general anxious feelings. If you have been managing from an anxiety disorder, then it is going to be very beneficial to reach out to a therapist. They have the right techniques to help you out, and you will be able to start feeling some relief from your anxiety symptoms.

Finding Cognitive Therapy Near Me

Finding cognitive therapy near you is not going to be difficult either. If you want to see a cognitive therapist to help treat anxiety or depression, then there is likely someone practicing this CT in your town. This is a common form of therapy, and you can find a therapist near you by doing a quick online search. Just about any major town is going to have a therapist who can assist you.

Setting up your first therapy appointment will not be difficult, and you will be able to start getting help right away. If you feel like you need to talk to someone about what is going on in your life, then do not hesitate to reach out to a dedicated therapist. They will be glad to help you out with what is going on, and it will be good to have someone on your side that you can count on.

Online Therapy Is Also Available

different therapy modalities and therapists
 
You should also know that online therapy is also available. For many people, online therapy is going to be the most convenient option to consider. You can sign up for online therapy over at BetterHelp to receive the help that you need. They have licensed therapists who are dedicated to working together with you to overcome your problems.

If you live in a town that does not offer cognitive therapy or if you simply want to have a more convenient option for cognitive treatment, signing up for online therapy is advised. This allows you to decide when to reach out. You can schedule therapy sessions at times that are convenient for you. It is a lot easier than traditional therapy, and there are even several types of therapy that you can pursue.

Being able to reach out to online therapists will make a difference in your life. You will always have an ally on your side when you need a helping hand. They can offer you their expertise and the therapist helps you even during the toughest days.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What are the methods of cognitive behavior therapy?

The main varieties of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are used to treat anxiety disorders or other behavioral responses are restructuring, guided discovery, exposure, journaling, behavioral experiments, and more. There are a number of different medically reviewed types of therapeutic approach depending on the different methodologies of counseling, as well as whether or not clients are children and adolescents. Additionally, there are different subsets within cognitive treatment such as dialectical behavior treatment and interpersonal therapy, all which have similarities and fall under the category of professional medical advice.

What are the 3 types of cognitive therapy?

There are many different methods of clinical psychology, but the three largest therapeutic methods are: psychodynamic counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and humanistic counseling. Psychodynamic counseling focuses more on the unconscious mind and thought patterns that emerge, as well as any negative thoughts associated with suppressed memories. Cognitive behavioral therapy cbt focuses more on mental health and addressing a specific problem or behavior that a client has. These emotional responses and behaviors are focused on exclusively in most cases and effective treatment will attempt to change those behaviors.

What are the 4 different talk therapies?

There are far more than four talk counseling varieties as there are many others, but the largest four are: cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic counseling, humanistic counseling, and dialectic behavior counseling. Cognitive therapy research shows that talk treatment is particularly helpful with emotional disorders, working through thoughts, stress management, as well as thinking patterns and the relationship with the mind, and for overcoming issues for some things like social anxiety or generalized anxiety and depression. Talk therapy can be used in several contexts ranging from couples counseling, family counseling, and personal counseling. It is, by far and wide, one of today's most commonly medically reviewed used therapeutic approaches, stemming from the generic cognitive model.

What are the 3 CBT waves?

The three main cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) waves begin with the behavioral counseling wave. This first wave focuses on the relationship between stimulus and a behavioral reaction. The second wave dives into cognitive behavioral treatment focuses on thought patterns of a client and their relationship to the stimulus and behavioral choices made, as well as any cognitive distortions or negative thoughts that may arise. Finally, the third wave of CBT is mindfulness and spiritual teachings that aims to help a client develop coping skills by recognizing experiences for what they are and not arguing with one’s own thought patterns or problem-solving techniques. These medically reviewed strategies of CBT are proven to be effective when treating personality disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, and other mental health challenges or personality problems.

What are the three main goals in cognitive therapy?

The three largest cognitive therapy goals are: relieve symptoms of emotional disorders and resolve problems, help clients acquire new skills and coping skills, as well as help the client to modify underlying mental structures in order to prevent a relapse. These medically reviewed goals are effective at helping a client change their thinking patterns for the better through group counseling, personal counseling, or any other type and can help people and results in an improvement with their symptoms, conditions, behaviors, emotions, feelings, and overall mental health. Problem solving strategies are also a cognitive theory emphasis and are particularly helpful in allowing a person to overcome social anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder concerns. Your own therapist can help 

What does ABC stand for in CBT?

‘A’ stands for Activating Events which are situations that lead to intense negative thoughts or emotions, potentially being a spark for a mental health condition or underlying mental health issues such as bipolar disorder. ‘B’ stands for Beliefs which are the automatic thoughts that occur following the Activating Event. Finally, ‘C’ stands for Consequences, which in this context are the emotions or behavior that follow and Activating Event and that are associated with our beliefs. Through group counseling or personal counseling with your own therapist, anybody can learn to overcome mental health issues and any side effects that may arise.

What are CBT's key elements?

CBT is a medically reviewed treatment approach for developing new skills and combatting mental disorders, such as substance abuse or post traumatic stress disorder, by building self-awareness in clients and dividing a person’s experiences into four main components:  thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and physiology. Under CBT, all categories feed into each other. For example, a person’s thoughts about a certain situation may lead to negative thoughts that result in negative behaviors, such as substance use. Substance use disorders will eventually lead to the degradation in the physical body and mind. By treating the thoughts and behavioral reactions, problems such as alcohol abuse can be stopped before they begin. These medically reviewed CBT elements are used in group counseling, personal counseling, couples’ counseling, and many other ways. CBT can be effective, in conjunction with medication in some cases, at treating preexisting conditions such as bipolar disorder as well as general mental health challenges.

How many sessions does CBT usually take?

CBT is a shorter-term type of therapy that usually lasts only between 5 and 20 sessions, however this use can be affected by your access to health insurance (which can affect the affordability of these sessions) as well as what your therapist determines your individual needs to be per person.

For Additional Help & Support With Your Concerns
Speak with a Licensed Therapist
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.