Cognitive behavior Therapy is considered as one of the most effective ways of treating the symptoms of depression. It is because this psychotherapy assumes that the thoughts of an individual directly impact the mood. If a person has continuous negative and dysfunctional thoughts, then there are certain aspects of a person such as his mood, self behavior, and physical condition that are under direct impact. Now the question is does Cognitive Behavior Therapy really help patients suffering from depression?
Principle of Cognitive Behavior Therapy
If a therapist is following the principles of Cognitive Behavior therapy to treat the patient suffering from depression, then he would take both the Cognitive Therapy as well as Behavior Therapy in consideration. The therapist, during the treatment, would try to identify any possible behavioral responses or patterns of negative thoughts that lead to the origin of stressful set of circumstances. Therapist would assist the patient in having more constructive and balanced ways to react to stressful situations.
How Cognitive Behavior Therapy Works?
CBT in contrast to other psychodynamic and psychoanalysis therapies requires much less time and approach. The patient undergoing CBT will need to attend only 10-20 sessions to complete the treatment. CBT sessions will give the therapist an insight about the patient’s present life circumstances that are adding to his depression. Therapist will review the patient’s thinking patterns that cause him to feel depressed.
Therapists often ask their patients to maintain a journal of their feelings and thoughts during life events and note down their reactions to particular circumstances. Therapists will also help putting the reactions and thought patterns exactly into various self-defeating thought categories as follows –
- Disqualification of positive thoughts as insisting not to consider for a specific reason
- Consider the world as all or just nothing
- Automatic reactions however negative
- Intensifying the event or minimizing its importance
- Personalizing things directed at the patient
- An event is enough to draw broad conclusions
- Dwelling on one negative detail that it leads to more negativity
There are techniques that can help in replacing the negative thoughts with more constructive ones. These techniques are best utilized with the help of a journal –
- Self talk for enhanced accuracy and balance
- Self evaluation for appropriate reflection and response
- Comprehensive and accurate assessment of reactions and situations or emotions
- Controlling and modifying reactions and thoughts
Cognitive Behavior Therapy is widely known to treat various conditions in adolescents and adults such as these –
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Antisocial behavior
- Anxiety disorders
- Personality disorder
- General stress
- Binge eating, bulimia, anorexia
- Conduct disorders
- Sleep disorders
- Sexual disorders
- Substance abuse
- Social skill problems
According to a few experts, Cognitive Behavior Therapy is highly effective in treatment of certain types of depression. The therapy is just a way to know more about the perception of yourself and your actions that directly impact your thoughts and how you feel.
This kind of therapy is significantly different from other kinds as it –
- Is limited in time
- Uses various strategies such as behavioral experiments, guided discovery, and role playing
- Helps in quick learning
- Assists in changing the thought patterns and modifying behaviors
- Addresses the problems of undesirable behavior and problem thinking attitude
- Focuses on goals and meeting them within the time limit
- Is educational, allowing to emphasize on thoughts and feelings and making yourself think more constructive
CBT is nowadays considered as an independent treatment if the patient is suffering from mild-to-moderate depression.