What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

From treating neuroses to reducing chronic pain, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been shown to help with many conditions.

I wrote a piece earlier this month on how CBT works to manage symptoms of ADHD. Today I wanted to give an overview of how CBT actually works, and why I use it for my patients. 

In my practice, I usually focus my therapies depending on the diagnosis and particular characteristics of the patient. 

For my patients who tend to take too much responsibility for the problems of the world, who tend to over think things, I find that CBT helps them be more realistic in their thinking process. These kinds of patients also often benefit from interpersonal therapy where we focus on relationships with people, communication skills and problem solving skills.

For the more disorganized and psychotic patients, I find that CBT is often too challenging for the patient. It is hard for them to organize themselves, do homework and challenge themselves without further disintegration of the ego. For these types of patients I tend to stick with interpersonal therapy, problem solving and supportive therapy.

There has been abundant research in recent years that demonstrate the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in the treatment of numerous mental health disorders. There was even one study that showed that it helped in reducing chronic pain syndromes!

This 2010 study compared CBT to other types of therapy--interpersonal and supportive therapy, as well as psychodynamic therapy, which focuses on the unconscious content of the mind.

They found that CBT was superior to psychodynamic therapy when treating anxiety and depression. For my practice, this is the most valuable therapy as I see more anxious and depressed types of patients than anything else. 

In my observation, CBT helps almost everyone!

Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu Woodland is owner and clinician of Hope Mental Health, an integrative mental health practice located at Bown Crossing in Boise, Idaho. She sees children, adolescents, and adults.  Ms. Woodland with her background in nursing, prefers a holistic and integrative approach to mental health care that addresses the mind and body together. While Ms. Woodland provides medication management services in all her patients, she believes in long-lasting solutions that include a number of psychotherapies, namely cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure and response prevention therapy, attention to lifestyle, evidenced based alternative psychiatric care and spirituality. If you’d like to gain control over your mental health issues, call Hope Mental Health at 208-918-0958, or use the online scheduling tool to set up an initial consultation.

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