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Updated: Mar 28

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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, abbreviated as CBT, is the term used to refer to the form of psychological therapy whose main focus is in the correction and management of conditions and disorders that include stress, depression, and anxiety. It is also effectively used in the management of a range of other disorders that include alcohol and substance abuse-related problems, various forms of mental disorders, eating, and marital problems.

Several types of research carried out by experts concerning CBT have shown how the therapy is significant in improving the functionality and quality of life. Numerous studies have demonstrated that CBT is more effective and productive when compared to other forms or types of psychological therapies.

CBT is designed on the model of research and clinical practice, aspects that have made it an efficient and effective form of therapy. The methods used in CBT have the backing of ample scientific evidence which showcases just how effective the approach is to produce a practical and visible change. The approach used in CBT treatment makes it distinct, setting it apart from any other form of psychological treatment.

The principles that guide CBT are listed as follows;

* Psychological events and situations are a result, in part, of learned patterns of useless behaviour

* Psychological problems are a result, in part, of a faulty thinking process

* Those suffering from psychological problems can practice active methods of coping with the said problem, eventually relieving their symptoms and making positive changes in their lives

The CBT working strategy focuses on changing the thinking patterns. Some of the approaches involved include the following;

Ø Being able to learn to identify disruptive thoughts leading to problems, evaluating them and comparing them to reality

Ø Gaining knowledge and understanding of the behaviour and motivation of other people

Ø Developing a higher sense of self-confidence in your abilities

CBT also focuses on the efforts towards changing behavioural patterns with strategies that include;

· The ability to face your fears instead of avoiding them

· Practicing real-life scenarios in the preparation of problematic interactions with other people

· Gaining the ability to calming your mind and relaxing your body in stressful situations

It is important to note each CBT approach is distinct, and will not entirely use the above-mentioned approaches in their treatment. The therapist and patient work together in coming up with the best treatment approach after the identification of the underlying problem.

The model of CBT relies on helping the patient is in charge of their treatment approaches, entirely meaning that they are their therapists. Patients will, through approaches like "homework", be able to develop coping skills, and be put in charge of their thinking process, behaviour, and emotions.

CBT therapists actively emphasize on the current happenings in the patient's life, as opposed to previous events leading to the current situation. Although the therapist will ask for certain details in the patient's past, the focus is entirely on forging ahead and being able to come up with more effective coping strategies in life.

Raquel Soteldo RP(Q), MA, ABA, PMP, CCC

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