If you believe that you have fallen into certain habits that are hurting your life, then cognitive behavioral therapy has the potential to help you make a change.
In this article, we will answer some of your questions about cognitive behavioral therapy, go into depth about what you can expect from one of these therapy sessions, and also advise you about how to go about finding the right therapist for your needs.
At the end of this article, you will better understand cognitive behavioral therapy and feel more equipped to find a successful treatment.
What Is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy?
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Need Help Finding A Therapist Or Therapist? End The Search
Click Here To Match With A Professional
Cognitive-behavioraltherapy, or therapy CBT, is a form of mental health treatment proven by experts to be useful for an extensive range of problems.
Therapy CBT is based on three main principles:
- Unhelpful ways of thinking partially cause psychological disorders.
- Psychological disorders are also partially a result of creating habits of unhelpful behavior.
- There are specific methods that a person experiencing psychological conditions can learn to lead a more effective life.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy has demonstrated impressive results for many people for a series of psychological disorders. The important thing to remember is this: If you are really struggling, help is available. Therapy is effective.
What Can Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treat?
Research shows therapy CBTcan ultimately lead to a drastic improvement in the quality of life.
If you are dealing with any of the following problems, then Cognitive Behavioral Therapy might be for you:
- Alcohol and drug use
- Eating disorders
- Marital problems
- Severe mental health conditions
These are the issues that some form of cognitive-behavioral therapy can help. These psychological conditions can be treated in group sessions, individual therapy, or couples therapy.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Sessions may focus on methods designed to control your body and mind, with the ultimate goal ofbuilding mental resilience.
Depending on your needs, you may want to narrow your therapy sessions down to one specific type of therapy, CBT, for example, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.
What Is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy?
Dialectical Behavioral Therapyis a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy designed to break negative thought patterns that may lead to self-destructive behavior.
In Dialectical Behavioral Therapy sessions, as in therapy CBT, the therapist focuses on two main principles: acceptance and change. Your therapist will accept you and your situation as it is while also guiding you through steps necessary to change self-destructive behavior.
With this type of cognitive-behavioral therapy, there are four parts.
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Phone calls with staff members if there is an emergency between sessions
- Medication management
Patients also complete homework assignments. An example of a homework assignment might include keeping a diary in which you track the emotions, urges, and habits throughout the day.
Research for therapy CBT and its offshoot therapy DBT have been proven as an effective treatment of anxiety, depression, and even the most severe cases of mental illness. Through acceptance and commitment, patients can truly learn to manage their mental health effectively.
It may sometimes seem like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, but even people with very intense mental health conditions have found relief through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Where Can I Receive Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Most cities have a center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. In one of these buildings, you will find a full physical support system.
The benefit of finding a center for cognitive behavioral therapy is that it comes with all the attention from staff and your peers in group therapy. It can be quite beneficial to meet other people like you at different phases of the therapy process.
However, many people deal with certain physical limitations, and now we have realized how international events and crises can restrict our ability to be together physically. It might not always be best to seek out a physical center for cognitive behavioral therapy for those reasons.
There are also plenty of excellent options online. For example,Regain.Usoffers Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for couples. Take a quiz that will reveal your needs, and Regain.Us provides group therapy, individual therapy, and an entire staff of counselors available on-demand for when you need them. In this way, you can receive the help you need without ever having to leave your house.
How To Find The Right Therapist For Your Needs
Do not be afraid to shop around. One of the many benefits of online therapy is the option of searching various profiles and even meeting with therapists to ask questions before you commit to long-term treatment.
Many counselors and therapists will specialize in a certain type of problem. For example, if you are struggling with anxiety, look for a counselor who already has extensive experience in that area.
But your needs do not just depend on your diagnosis. Perhaps you want group therapy, individual therapy, or couples therapy. The best thing you can do is meet a therapist and see if you have chemistry and feel comfortable speaking online with that person. If it is not a good match, do not feel guilty for looking around for a different counselor. Any therapist will understand the importance of finding someone you get along very well with.
Research Your Options
Familiarize yourself with terminology that might help you choose a type of therapy proven to work with your needs.
For example, a psychiatrist might focus on the physical reasons for your condition. They will look into chemical imbalances and prescribe a drug treatment. A counselor might focus on environmental issues like your job, your familial relationships, worldview, and thinking habits.
You should also consider thetype of therapy recommended for your needs.Once finding out what kind of treatment is recommended for you and your goals, you can find a therapist that focuses on that time of counseling.
Remember to consider that if you want medications, your options are more exclusive. Only a small number of psychologists have the privilege of prescribing medicine. Consider if it is truly important for you to seek out medication management and ensure you choose a counselor who can meet your requirements.
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While online therapy ensures that they provide vetted, extremely qualified counselors, it will still benefit you toask your own questions.Think about it; if you wanted to buy an expensive product, you would do the research and precisely determine what you are looking for. It is not any different from the correct therapist.
Some questions that you might ask include:
- How long have you been practicing, and what are your certifications?
- What results have patients similar to be found after your sessions?
- Are you moredirectiveor guiding as a counselor?
- What is your philosophy as a therapist?
- Have you been in therapy yourself? What methods work for you personally?
- What does a typical session look like with you?
- Do you give homework or reading assignments?
- What would success with a patient look like for you? What are your goals?
Listen carefully and be open about your goals and needs. The counselor is present to make you feel better, and they want to know what helps you. Do not be afraid to be vocal about what you are looking for.
It is important to have a clear idea of when the therapy is going well and working for all parties involved. Sometimes it is difficult to recognize when a change is happening.
Luckily, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy includes a few clear goals so that patients and counselors know exactly when the sessions are going well.
SomeGoals Of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
- Increased self-awareness and emotional intelligence.
- The ability to read your own thoughts and emotions and determine which are helpful, constructive, and harmful.
- Recognize when your perceptions of reality are distorted and how this might lead to hurtful feelings
- A dramatic decrease in symptoms
- Making patients more self-sufficient by showing them how to identify distorted thinking and practice self-control
- Changing core beliefs that could be the source of your struggles and therefore preventing future problems with emotional distress
Ensure that your goals are realistic and easy to measure to see the difference in your ways of thinking and belief system.
With these techniques, you can find (and keep) a counselor that works for you. Ending up with the wrong therapist, or constantly switching therapists, can be hurtful, especially to someone who is already in a negative situation. With these methods, you can find an effective therapist before you start treatment.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is real, it works, and it is available online. It also gives them a choice between hundreds of different qualified counselors to shop around, ask questions, and find a counselor that fits with them and what they need.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is CBT covered by insurance?
Yes, in most cases, the best cognitive behavioral therapy is covered by insurance. If the cognitive-behavioral approach is used to treat mental disorders, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia, most health insurance plans will cover it, just as they would with other health problems, although the rules for coverage are sometimes different.
However, cognitive-behavioral treatment might not be covered if it is used in marriage and family therapy. Relationship therapy is not usually covered on most insurance plans. Individual child therapy would probably be covered, especially if the treatment is for a mental health issue like ADHD, separation anxiety, or depression.
How much does CBT therapy cost?
Cognitive-behavioral treatment can be very reasonably priced, especially if you go with an online cognitive behavioral counselor. For example, CBT therapists at Regain.us work with couples using cognitive behavioral methods for a low weekly rate, which you pay by the month. There, you’ll find the best cognitive behavioral counseling by qualified CBT therapists starting at $60 per week. But this isn’t for just one session per week of marriage and family therapy. Instead, you have a therapy room where you can leave messages any time, day or night, and receive answers and insights multiple times per week.
The price can be very different if you go to a local therapy center, and there is a wide range of prices. Sometimes, a therapy center uses a sliding scale and can charge as low as $35 or even less. Sometimes a religious organization will provide counseling for free if you are a member. The average cost of cognitive-behavioral counseling is about $80 to $90.
How do I find a cognitive-behavioral therapist?
One way is to look for an online platform with CBT therapists. For example, if you’re looking for marriage and family therapy with the best cognitive-behavioral approach, you can find CBT therapists at Regain.us. There, you can take a short quiz to let us know about your needs and preferences. With this information, we can recommend CBT therapists who might be right for you. After that, you can meet our therapists and ask any questions you like before making your decision. And, if you begin cognitive-behavioral treatment with one therapist and find you don’t feel comfortable with them, it’s easy to switch to a different therapist.
As for finding a cognitive behavioral therapist in your local community, consider checking out a local therapy center. Remember to ask questions, such as whether they use the best cognitive behavioral therapy practices. You may have to call several different clinics before you find a therapist you want to work with, and it might take weeks or even months to get your first appointment. However, if you prefer to have the best cognitive behavioral therapy in a face-to-face setting, the best way to do that is to contact a therapy center.
What type of doctor does cognitive behavioral therapy?
Usually, the kind of doctor who provides cognitive-behavioral treatment is a Doctor of Psychology – typically someone with a Ph.D. or Psy.D. degree.
While psychiatrists do treat mental disorders, they only rarely provide psychotherapy such as CBT or behavior therapy. Instead, they focus on medication management for people with depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder.
A psychologist, though, is trained and experienced in the best cognitive behavioral therapy approaches. Some psychologists even specialize in CBT and use it most of the time when treating patients in a therapy center or online practice. Psychologists use various psychological techniques, including behavior therapy, humanistic therapy, and psychodynamic therapy. They treat people of all ages and circumstances, offering individual therapy, couples therapy, and child therapy.
On the other hand, CBT therapists aren’t all doctors. Instead of a medical degree or a doctorate, some have master’s degrees in psychology, counseling, or clinical social work. Professional counselors without a doctorate can provide behavior therapy, CBT, and other forms of psychotherapy. In fact, choosing a therapist is a very individualized decision. So, sometimes, people click with a CBT therapist who is not a doctor at all.
What is an example of cognitive-behavioral therapy?
The best cognitive behavioral therapy can make an amazing improvement in your life. Here’s an example of the cognitive-behavioral approach. Suppose you experience symptoms of anxiety whenever your partner goes out of town. After examining the thoughts behind your feelings, you realize that you have been having a lot of thoughts about terrible things that might happen to her. She might be in a plane crash. She might be murdered. Your therapist explains that your thoughts are signs of a cognitive distortion called catastrophizing. Then, he guides you in considering whether these thoughts are helpful, and if not, helps you choose different thoughts that are more realistic. CBT therapists can teach you these cognitive behavioral skills so that you can use the same techniques on your own, even after you’re no longer in therapy.
Other forms of therapy take different approaches. For example, in standard behavior therapy, you spend much less time talking about your thoughts. Instead, you might talk a bit about the behaviors you are trying to change. Then, you and your therapist make a plan to help you change to different behaviors. While CBT does help you change behaviors, it does it by first examining your thoughts.
What types of disorders are best treated by CBT?
People with a wide range of disorders can benefit from CBT. Some of them include:
- Anxiety disorders
- Depressive disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Relationship issues
- Eating disorders
- Substance abuse disorders
While CBT is a very effective therapy for many disorders and problems, it isn’t the only form of treatment available. For individual therapy, you can choose from such wide-ranging options as CBT, behavior therapy, and existential therapy, to name a few. Or, for couples counseling, you can choose CBT, or you can opt for the Gottman Method, emotionally focused therapy, Imago relationship therapy, or many others.
How do I find the right therapist near me? ›
Two websites for locating psychologists include the Psychologist Locator on the website of the American Psychological Association and the National Register. Your state psychological association may be another source of potential names.What are the disadvantages of CBT? ›
Some of the disadvantages of CBT to consider include: you need to commit yourself to the process to get the most from it – a therapist can help and advise you, but they need your co-operation. attending regular CBT sessions and carrying out any extra work between sessions can take up a lot of your time.How do you know if a therapist is not right for you? ›
- Behave unethically. ...
- Take you as a client if they don't specialize in your issue. ...
- Overshare about themselves. ...
- Leave you feeling worse after your session – regularly. ...
- Make you feel judged, shamed, or emotionally exposed. ...
- Disrupt the session by divided attention. ...
- You just don't feel “right”
According to Dr. Bergen, a major indicator that your therapist isn't a great fit for you would be “if they don't try to adapt their approach to fit your needs.” If your therapist has one way of doing things and “they try to sell you on it,” that's a good sign that you may not get what you need out of the relationship.What are the 3 types of therapy? ›
- Psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapies. ...
- Behavior therapy. ...
- Cognitive therapy. ...
- Humanistic therapy. ...
- Integrative or holistic therapy.
One of the primary reasons many people have difficulty finding the right therapist is due to a lack of specialization. Many practitioners focus primarily on anxiety and depression.Who needs cognitive behavioral therapy? ›
- Anxiety disorders.
- Sleep disorders.
- Eating disorders.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Substance use disorders.
- Step One – Make A List.
- Step Two – Record Unproductive Thoughts.
- Step Three – Create Replacement Thoughts.
- Step Four – Read Your List Often.
- Step Five – Notice And Replace.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- Personality disorders.
A highly effective psychotherapy called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on how our thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes can affect our feelings and behavior. Traditional CBT treatment usually requires weekly 30- to 60-minute sessions over 12 to 20 weeks.
What are 3 major aspects of cognitive behavioral therapy? ›
Gaining a better understanding of the behavior and motivation of others. Using problem-solving skills to cope with difficult situations. Learning to develop a greater sense of confidence in one's own abilities.What is the first question a therapist asks? ›
Why are you seeking therapy at this time? People go to therapy for a variety of reasons. You'll be asked to explain why you're seeking therapy to give the therapist an idea of your goals.What are the three key points of CBT? ›
The goal of CBT is to help the individual understand how their thoughts impact their actions. There are three pillars of CBT, which are identification, recognition, and management.Why do I feel like my therapist isn't helping? ›
Reasons, such as lack of trust or feeling misunderstood, may make you feel like therapy isn't helping. Here's how you can improve your experience. There are many reasons why therapy may not be working for you. Your therapist, the type of therapy they provide, and how they relate to you may be the reasons.What happens if you tell your therapist too much? ›
The short answer is that you can tell your therapist anything – and they hope that you do. It's a good idea to share as much as possible, because that's the only way they can help you.Should you tell your therapist you Googled them? ›
Googling a therapist can raise feelings of guilt for some clients, and I think that it is useful in therapy to discuss the relationship as openly as you feel able. I would suggest that having a conversation with your therapist around your internet search could be a great opportunity for good work in therapy.Do therapists think about me between sessions? ›
Your therapist's relationship with you exists between sessions, even if you don't communicate with each other. She thinks of your conversations, as well, continuing to reflect on key moments as the week unfolds. She may even reconsider an opinion she had or an intervention she made during a session.When should you quit therapy? ›
Ideally, therapy ends when all therapy goals have been met. If you entered therapy to treat a fear of dogs and you no longer fear dogs, your work is complete. Or you want to communicate better with your partner and you've learned to navigate your disagreements constructively, the goals are met.What is the most common therapy used today? ›
The most common type of therapy right now may be cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). As mentioned above, CBT explores the relationship between a personâ€™s feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. It often focuses on identifying negative thoughts and replacing them with healthier ones.What is the most effective therapy method? ›
Behavioral activation therapy (BAT) is, perhaps, the most effective nonmedical intervention for most depressive disorders, especially for mild to moderately severe unipolar depression. BAT simply encourages depressed clients to engage in more general activity, physical movement, and social interaction.
What is the best type of therapy for anxiety? ›
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most widely-used therapy for anxiety disorders. Research has shown it to be effective in the treatment of panic disorder, phobias, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder, among many other conditions.Do therapists get frustrated with clients? ›
Therapists do get frustrated with clients from time to time, but some can handle difficult clients better than others. This may be due to training or inherent personality traits.How long until therapy makes a difference? ›
The number of recommended sessions varies by condition and treatment type, however, the majority of psychotherapy clients report feeling better after 3 months; those with depression and anxiety experience significant improvement after short and longer time frames, 1-2 months & 3-4.How many sessions is a therapist a chance? ›
Therapy has been found to be most productive when incorporated into a client's lifestyle for approximately 12-16 sessions, most typically delivered in once weekly sessions for 45 minutes each. For most folks that turns out to be about 3-4 months of once weekly sessions.What are the two types of cognitive behavioral therapy? ›
Types of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Therapy (CT) Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
If you've wanted to try CBT for anxiety or depression but aren't able to see a CBT therapist, you may not need to. Many studies have found that self-directed CBT can be very effective.Who would benefit most from CBT? ›
Specifically, patients with greater capacity to identify and articulate thoughts and feelings and to share them in a nondefensive, focused way benefit most from CBT.How do I structure my first CBT session? ›
- A brief mood check.
- A bridge from the previous session.
- The setting of an agenda.
- A review of the previous session's homework assignment.
- A discussion of agenda items.
- A homework assignment.
- A final summary.
The ABC model is a tool used in cognitive behavioral therapy to recognize irrational events and beliefs. It stands for antecedents, beliefs, and consequences. The goal of the ABC model is to learn to use rational thinking to respond to situations in a healthy way.Can CBT do more harm than good? ›
Counselling and other psychological therapies can do more harm than good if they are of poor quality or the wrong type, according to a major new analysis of their outcomes.
How do I get the most out of cognitive behavioral therapy? ›
- Get yourself a therapy notebook. ...
- Learn to journal. ...
- Be clear about your goals. ...
- Be honest. ...
- Do your homework.
Start to think about your symptoms in categories
- Think about the way they make your body feel physically. ...
- Think about how the way you feel makes you act.
- Calm yourself.
- Write down the situation that triggered the negative thoughts.
- Identify the moods that you felt in the situation.
- Write down the automatic thoughts you experienced when you felt the mood.
The three common assumptions of cognitive therapies are: “(1) Behavior and emotions develop through cognitive processes; (2) procedures based on the human learning laboratory are effective in influencing cognitive processes; and (3) the therapist should serve as 'diagnostician-educator' to uncover maladaptive cognitive ...Does CBT focus on past or present? ›
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a problem-oriented strategy. It focuses on current problems and finding solutions for them. Unlike psychoanalysis, for example, it does not deal primarily with the past. Cognitive behavioral therapy is much more concerned with dealing with current problems.What are the top 5 questions to ask a counselor? ›
- What are your strengths and limitations as a counselor?
- What is your general philosophy and approach to helping? Are you more directive or more guiding?
- Have you been in therapy yourself? How recently?
- How often do you seek peer consultation?
- What brings you to therapy?
- Why now?
- What are your goals for therapy?
- What will be difference once your goals have been met?
- How important is this to you? ...
- How will you know when your goals are met?
- What's your understanding of the issues?
- Consult your provider directory. ...
- Ask someone you trust. ...
- Use a reliable online database. ...
- Explore local resources. ...
- Reach out to organizations that address your area of concern. ...
- Think about your goals ahead of time.
I am interested in starting therapy. I was curious if you are taking on new clients and what your availability is. I am seeking therapy because [one to two sentences about what you would like to address]. Could we set up a phone consultation to discuss more in depth?What's the difference between a counselor and a therapist? ›
Counselors tend to offer short-term care, while therapists tend to offer long-term care. Therapists can be more past focused and counselors more future focused. Counselors often have a set number of sessions, and therapists often work on an ongoing basis. Therapists are more likely to treat mental health conditions.
What is the difference between therapist and psychologist? ›
Psychologists can do research, which is a very important contribution academically and clinically, to the profession. A therapist is a broader umbrella term for professionals who are trained—and often licensed—to provide a variety of treatments and rehabilitation for people.What should I avoid telling my therapist? ›
- Telling Lies & Half-Truths. ...
- Omitting Important Details. ...
- Testing Your Therapist. ...
- Don't Keep Apologizing for Feelings or Things You Express in Therapy. ...
- I Didn't Do My Homework. ...
- Detailing Every Minute Detail of Your Day. ...
- Don't Just State the Facts. ...
- Don't Ask Them What You Should Do.
- Don't tell lies. ...
- Don't share complaints about your previous therapist. ...
- Don't say that you want to be friends. ...
- Avoid telling half truths. ...
- Don't tell them you just want a prescription. ...
- Avoid telling your therapist to fix you.
You therapist is required to maintain confidentiality about everything said in sessions between the two of you, just like a doctor is required to keep your records private. While there are laws and regulations in place to protect your privacy, confidentiality is also a key part of psychology's code of ethics.Do I need counseling or therapy? ›
The American Psychological Association suggests you consider a time to see a therapist when something causes distress and interferes with some part of life, particularly when: Thinking about or coping with the issue takes up at least an hour each day. The issue causes embarrassment or makes you want to avoid others.Should a therapist see a therapist? ›
Just because they're trained, doesn't mean therapists don't sometimes need help themselves. In fact, the nature of their job places them at higher risk for emotional distress. In short, therapists often need just as much — if not more — support than the average person.What is a shrink for? ›
“Shrink” is another term used to refer to mental health professionals, including therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists.Why am I not getting better in therapy? ›
Reasons, such as lack of trust or feeling misunderstood, may make you feel like therapy isn't helping. Here's how you can improve your experience. There are many reasons why therapy may not be working for you. Your therapist, the type of therapy they provide, and how they relate to you may be the reasons.How long should you stay with the same therapist? ›
According to Laura Osinoff, executive director of the National Institute for the Psychotherapies in Manhattan, “On average, you can expect to spend one to three years [in therapy] if you are having, for example, relationship problems.Can a therapist treat someone they know? ›
While it's not considered unethical to see friends of friends, some therapists would prefer not to do that given the sanctity of each relationship. In some cases, a therapist will choose not to work with two people who are close with each other if they truly feel they cannot remain impartial.
Should I see a therapist or psychologist for anxiety? ›
A psychiatrist is needed whenever someone's anxiety does not allow them to do the things they want to do. When a doctor rules out any medical issues, talking with a professional therapist can help solve someone's anxiety problems.