Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one of the most effective psychotherapies. Considered the “gold standard,” it is the only scientifically-backed therapy found to be effective for nearly every challenge.
Cognitive therapy is used in treating a wide range of health problems such as anxiety, depression, eating problems, drug abuse, fears, and personality issues.
Based on the perception that the way people think about things affects how they feel emotionally, this kind of treatment places emphasis on current thinking, habits, and communication, instead of previous issues. In essence, it's concerned with solving current problems, not the past.
You might be wondering where you can find CBT or if it's the best method for you. Keep reading to find out more about this approach and how to choose the best mental health counselor for you.
In some cases, cognitive therapy is also known as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). It aims to assist people in the manner in which they think and how they behave. For instance, the treatment has been used to help people with cocaine habits abstain from this drug and other substances. The underlying assumption is that the learning procedure plays a vital role in the prolongation and development of substance abuse, dependence, and addiction. A similar learning procedure can be utilized and help people overcome phobias, anxiety, and even depression.
CBT patients do the following:
A key premise of this type of treatment is that it isn't others or their actions that cause our negative moods or personal problems, but our thoughts and reactions. In other words, CBT therapists believe that it isn't 'them' but 'us' that cause and control our realities. These specialists have the tools to help patients overcome negative thinking, once and for all.
Since you know the CBT definition, here are some techniques that your future therapist might use during a session.
Cognitive rehearsal is one of the standard CBT techniques used. For example, Kaylee has agoraphobia, an anxiety problem that entails being afraid of certain places and makes it impossible for her to leave her home. She googled "cognitive behavioral therapy near me" and thought about making an appointment with one of the mental health counselors close by. Unfortunately, her fear of leaving home made this impossible and this delayed her journey to find a cognitive therapist for a little while.
Thankfully, she had heard about online counseling services that connect people with certified therapists. Online services are some of the best ways to find a cognitive behavioral therapist, and through technology-connected sessions, the therapist recommended cognitive rehearsal and helped Kaylee work through the details and specifics of her negative thinking patterns and habits.
Kaylee and her therapist came up with things that she could do to prepare to leave her home. Together they 'rehearsed' what it would be like when Kaylee had to go to the grocery store or a doctor's appointment, allowing her to handle her emotions and fears better when the time came along.
At times, people tend to feel overwhelmed at work. When they get to the office, they start thinking that they won't handle the challenges of the day. Feeling overwhelmed makes them feel tense and angry. In this case, seeking CBT is essential, and luckily, because it’s so popular, it’s pretty easy to find a cognitive behavioral therapist.
Like Kaylee, Demarcus also wondered where to find CBT and found the solution through an online counselor.
In this case, the cognitive therapist used a guided discovery method. The therapist asked various questions about Demarcus's feelings, thoughts, and behaviors on a typical day. Then, the therapist assisted him in connecting the feelings and ideas at the start of the workday to his angry responses.
It helped Demarcus realize that he had to work on his thoughts and dread to solve his anger and hostility problems. Because the cognitive therapist understood various techniques that could help alleviate anxiety including guided discovery, she was able to help Demarcus.
Note that CBT techniques are available in various sizes and shapes, providing a broad range to choose from to fit your requirements. So, understanding the physiology definition is essential.
Your therapist will combine different techniques depending on what you intend to achieve and what works best for you, and you can discuss them with them after you find a cognitive behavioral therapist. Here are some of the best examples of techniques that cognitive therapists use once a patient finds them through a Google search.
Cognitive restructuring is a cognitive technique that targets assisting individuals in identifying the thinking patterns that trigger ineffective behavior and negative moods and then flip these into positives. There are many methods used during this process. The commonly used ones include pursuing dysfunctional feelings on a thinking record form and devising a healthier and more emotionally flexible psychology pattern.
Exposure is a technique used in CBT for treating anxiety that assists individuals in approaching their fears systematically. Typically, fear makes people avoid different conditions. Unluckily, escaping what individuals fear most is sometimes what fosters the thoughts of anxiety and fear. With the help of regular exposure and the assistance of a CBT therapist, individuals can be familiar with feared situations and then handle increasingly difficult exposure assignments.
This form of CBT for anxiety seeks to assist individuals by utilizing positive increase behaviors. By identifying and scheduling useful habits like taking a walk or meditating, it raises the possibility of actually getting these things done during the week. This method is helpful for individuals who don't do many rewarding activities because of depression.
Finding the best therapist is an essential task since you need to make sure you get the best results from your sessions. You can search online or ask for a recommendation from friends. However, there are some things you need to look at when looking for a CBT therapist.
It's not only the type of therapy you want to focus on but also the problem. Make sure you find a professional who specializes in the issue you're struggling with. A therapist's bio will usually talk about the kind of issues he or she addresses. If not, you can always ask.
The high cost is one of the main challenges to the treatment of mental health. While the Affordable Care Act and other regulatory developments seek to improve the availability of mental health treatment and the ability to find a cognitive therapist, most people are concerned about the cost of the procedure.
Many people who have a mental illness or need cognitive therapy fail to get medical attention due to high costs and insurance. Although this might seem like a money-saving technique, in the beginning, it can hurt in the long run. When it comes to mental health help, affordable doesn't mean low-quality. Many therapy providers offer sliding scale fees and discounts for those struggling to afford mental health services.
Finding assistance for a mental or emotional health problem can be overwhelming, and getting the best therapist, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist to help you can be time-consuming, especially if you search for something like “cognitive therapy near me” which can yield a lot of results from different locations and providers.
A reliable therapist finder like BetterHelp will help you get the best service provider. You will start looking or browsing for a new CBT therapist easily. So, finding a cognitive therapist close by will be easy.
Some people are looking for a traditional psychotherapy relationship that involves meeting the service provider one-on-one, maybe once a week.
However, some individuals might not be comfortable talking to the therapist directly or are not sure if they need in-person services. Online CBT has emerged as an option for many people who want to reach a mental health professional while alleviating these kinds of concerns.
Research shows that online therapy platforms can provide valuable resources to those experiencing a wide range of symptoms arising out of mental health issues. In one broad-based report published in World Psychiatry, researchers examined the benefits of online cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) when helping manage symptoms of mental disorders. The review mentions the varied ways participants can receive therapy from a mental health professional, including text, audio, and video files, counseling sessions, and interactive exercises. With these innovations, researchers note, cognitive therapy techniques have been successfully transferred to online platforms. The review concludes that online CBT is a cost-efficient, useful mode of treatment that is as effective as face-to-face CBT.
With online therapy through BetterHelp, you’ll have the ability to connect with a licensed therapist via videoconference, messaging, voice call, or live chat. Plus, you’ll have access to educational resources and a journaling feature, which you can use to reinforce important concepts. If you need to clarify something or just want to review a specific topic, you can look back through your chat with your therapist, browse your journal entries, or peruse BetterHelp’s online self-help articles. A licensed online counselor can provide you with cognitive therapy that will help you regulate your emotions. Read below for reviews of BetterHelp counselors, from those who have utilized online CBT in the past.
“Kerline is so warm and kind, and a wonderful listener! She created a safe and open space where I could talk freely and without fear of judgment. Her weekly calls and exercises have provided the tools I need to cope with stress, anxiety, relationship issues, and anger. The entire CBT process was very healing and I'm so grateful she led me through it. Her insights, knowledge, and caring nature were so valuable, and I'd recommend her to anyone.”
If finding local CBT is not working out the way you expected, you can always try online therapy providers, like BetterHelp, and find a mental health professional that way. The primary benefit of online cognitive therapy is that you have numerous means to talk to your therapist. The important thing to remember is that there are professionals out there who want to help. Take the first step today.
Commonly Asked Questions
What disorders are best treated with cognitive therapy?
Because one of the core techniques of cognitive therapy is to try to identify the problematic thinking patterns that lead to unhealthy behavior patterns and negative emotions, cognitive behavioral therapy can have broad uses and be used to treat a variety of mental health conditions.
For example, CBT providers can use this type of psychological treatment to address the following common mental health concerns:
These are just a handful of examples of the types of mental health disorders a CBT therapist can treat. If you believe you have a mental health condition that’s not on this list, that’s okay - the chances are, cognitive-behavioral therapy can help you. Reach out and find a cognitive behavioral therapist and find out!
What does a cognitive therapist do?
Cognitive therapist providers work with clients to help them identify negative thinking and behavior patterns that are contributing to the mental health issues that they are experiencing. By becoming aware of them, people can then begin to make significant life changes and start to feel better.
What are the 3 types of cognitive therapies?
Three types of cognitive therapy techniques used to treat mental health issues include:
How much does a cognitive therapist cost?
The price of a cognitive therapist can vary between each mental health practitioner. If you are looking to find a cognitive behavioral therapist at an affordable cost, online therapy with a CBT therapist is one of the best options available to you.
Many clients enjoy online providers of cognitive behavioral therapy more than traditional methods for this reason along with the flexibility of scheduling that can be difficult to find by working with a CBT therapist at a private practice.
Who is CBT not suitable for?
Cognitive behavioral therapy can be used for countless mental health conditions, but there are some specific instances where it might not be as suitable. One of these examples can be schizophrenia, which is characterized by its psychotic symptoms that distort the patient’s thoughts and perceptions. In most cases where cognitive behavioral therapy is effective, it’s the negative thinking and behavior patterns that cause the symptoms of common mental health conditions, like depression anxiety, and OCD, not the other way around.
However, with antipsychotic medication, some clients with psychotic disorders can benefit from cognitive therapy by improving their problem solving skills which can have a positive effect on managing symptoms and improving their overall quality of life. Also, the hallucinations and delusional thoughts affect how a person feels, and CBT can, of course, still help these individuals cope. Nonetheless, it may be difficult to find a cognitive therapist who is experienced in helping many clients with these kinds of conditions.
The point is that a CBT therapist can’t fix everything on their own, and for some conditions, like schizophrenia, other mental health professionals, particularly a psychiatrist who can prescribe essential medications, must be involved in order for cognitive behavioral therapy to truly make a difference.
Can you do CBT on your own?
It’s very common for a CBT therapist to assign their clients homework assignments so that they can learn how to practice mindfulness and other types of coping and relaxation techniques that can help them manage symptoms of their mental health concerns.
One of the goals mental health professionals have with cognitive behavioral therapy is to help lead them to becoming more self-sufficient on their journey to better mental health. After all, cognitive behavioral therapy sessions with a CBT therapist do not last indefinitely, and so professionals want to teach their clients how to become their own CBT therapist so they can tackle the issues that will come up in their life in the future without guidance.
What are examples of cognitive therapy?
Cognitive therapy is a popular type of treatment used by mental health professionals that is focused on helping people to modify the way they think and feel about certain situations. This type of therapy has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of different mental health disorders in people of all ages, not just young adults who are more likely to experience such issues.
There are many different examples of cognitive behavioral therapy being used in the treatment of mental health issues. For instance, one common form of cognitive behavioral therapy is known as exposure therapy. This type of therapy involves gradually exposing a person to the thing that they are afraid of, such as spiders or heights.
By slowly exposing them to their fear, they will eventually begin to feel less anxious and more comfortable around the thing that they once feared.
Another example of cognitive behavioral therapy being put to work can be taking a look at a person with social anxiety disorder.
With the guidance of the CBT therapist, the client gradually exposes themselves to the situations they fear and avoid, helping them to confront their fears and learn new skills. For instance, a person with social anxiety might begin by attending social events with a friend, and then eventually attending events alone. Through this process, the individual learns to manage their anxiety and develop new coping skills.
What are the 4 steps of cognitive restructuring?
When it comes to cognitive-restructuring, a CBT therapist will teach 4 steps to help their clients change the way they think. These steps are:
By taking these steps that mental health professionals instruct, you can have a plan in place whenever something distressing pops into your head. If you’re struggling with intrusive thoughts, find a cognitive therapist who can help you as soon as possible.
What are the disadvantages of CBT?
To many clients, cognitive behavioral therapy might seem like the perfect technique because it’s logical and it works and it’s easy to find a cognitive behavioral therapist, too. It is one of the best treatment methods available and because it can be used on many conditions, it’s also usually the preferred technique used by mental health professionals around the world. However, there can be downsides to cognitive behavioral therapy.
One of the main ones is that CBT mainly focuses on the issues of the present and how to deal with them, but a CBT therapist typically won’t examine the past, which could very well contribute to the thinking and behavioral patterns in the first place. This is something that psychodynamic therapy tries to address, which is another strategy used by mental health professionals.
Another related issue people have with cognitive behavioral therapy is that it doesn’t necessarily look at the other factors, particularly sociocultural and relationship issues, that surround an individual that can be affecting the way they feel. Mental health professionals who practice CBT emphasize changing the individual, but might not provide solutions to change the situations that are causing problems in the individual’s life, such as family conflict or toxic relationships. These are something a family therapist or relationship counselor would focus on.
Is CBT the same as cognitive therapy?
In a technical sense, cognitive therapy and CBT are different things. CBT is the combination of cognitive therapy, which focuses on identifying problematic thoughts, and behavioral therapy which is centered around changing negative behaviors. That being said, these things are all interconnected with each other, which is a core philosophy of cognitive-behavioral therapy.
So, nowadays in a general sense, cognitive therapy, in most cases, is synonymous with the cognitive behavioral therapy technique used by many professionals. However, it’s still possible to find a mental health professional who practices behavioral and cognitive therapies separately, but it’s easier to find a cognitive behavioral therapist who incorporates both to change your life.