By Dr Zulfikar Bux
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave. It’s most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but can be useful for other mental and physical health problems.
CBT is based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a vicious cycle. It aims to help you deal with overwhelming problems in a more positive way by breaking them down into smaller parts.
Unlike some other talking treatments, it deals with your current problems, rather than focusing on issues from your past. It looks for practical ways to improve your state of mind on a daily basis. Studies have proven its worth and today I will introduce you to it so that you may help yourself or others that need this form of support.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM CBT?
CBT has been shown to be an effective way of treating a number of different mental health conditions. In addition to depression or anxiety disorders, CBT can also help people with:
• bipolar disorder
• borderline personality disorder
• eating disorders – such as anorexia and bulimia
• obsessive compulsive disorder
• panic disorder
• post-traumatic stress disorder
• sleep problems – such as insomnia
• problems related to alcohol misuse
CBT is also sometimes used to treat people with long-term health conditions, such as:
• irritable bowel syndrome
• chronic fatigue syndrome
Although CBT cannot cure the physical symptoms of these conditions, it can help people cope better with their symptoms.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING CBT SESSIONS?
If CBT is recommended, you’ll usually have a session with a therapist once a week or once every 2 weeks. The course of treatment usually lasts for between 5 and 20 sessions, with each session lasting 30 to 60 minutes.
During the sessions, you’ll work with your therapist to break down your problems into their separate parts, such as your thoughts, physical feelings and actions. You and your therapist will analyze these areas to work out if they’re unrealistic or unhelpful, and to determine the effect they have on each other and on you.
Your therapist will then be able to help you work out how to change unhelpful thoughts and behaviors. After working out what you can change, your therapist will ask you to practice these changes in your daily life and you’ll discuss how you got on during the next session.
The eventual aim of therapy is to teach you to apply the skills you have learnt during treatment to your daily life. This should help you manage your problems and stop them having a negative impact on your life, even after your course of treatment finishes.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CBT?
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be as effective as medicine in treating some mental health problems. Some of the benefits of CBT include:
• It may be helpful in cases where medicine alone has not worked
• It can be completed in a relatively short period of time compared with other talking therapies
• The highly structured nature of CBT means it can be provided in different formats, including in groups, self-help books and apps.
• It teaches you useful and practical strategies that can be used in everyday life, even after the treatment has finished
While this form of therapy may not cure your condition or make an unpleasant situation go away, it can give you the power to cope with your situation in a healthy way and to feel better about yourself and your life. Ask your doctor if CBT is right for you and for a therapist who can deliver it to you.
Jul 15, 2020It is no surprise that 18-year-old Samuel Woodroffe has a deep passion for hockey after being grown into the sport with his father Damon and sisters, Dacia and Trisha all having represented the...
Jul 15, 2020
Jul 15, 2020
Jul 14, 2020
Jul 13, 2020
Jul 13, 2020
By Sir Ronald Sanders Governments around the world, including in Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries, have emerged as... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]