The cognitive therapy
Cognitive therapy is about becoming clear about one's thoughts and expectations. Wrong and stressful beliefs are to be recognized and changed. Often it is not only the situations and things themselves that cause problems, but the meaning one ascribes to them.
For example, drawing negative conclusions immediately from an incident and generalizing them and even relating them to similar situations is a stressful thought pattern. Such thinking patterns are called "overgeneralization" in psychology. Another stressful thinking error is "catastrophizing." In this thinking error, there is the exaggerated worry that a disaster might happen if something troubling happens. Thinking patterns like this make the sufferer's life more difficult.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help identify incorrect thinking patterns and replace them with realistic and less harmful thoughts. As a result, one can think more clearly and control thoughts better.
The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy
The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy is to better understand one's own thoughts and feelings, thereby uncovering distressing cognitions and changing them. When a person evaluates a certain situation as bad, he may feel fear, anger or stress as a result. He cannot change the situation, but he can change the evaluation of the situation. The patient thus learns how the automatic thoughts and actions caused by them work, and how to re-evaluate situations and stimuli. It is tried to contain mental disorders in this way.
When is cognitive-behavioral therapy appropriate?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is usually used to treat depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders or addictive disorders. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can also be used for physical illnesses such as tinnitus, rheumatism or chronic pain and help to cope better with the complaints.
It should be noted that behavioral therapy requires a lot of personal initiative and that the therapy can only be successful if one is active and open during the sessions. You also have to work on the problems between sessions. This can sometimes take a lot of energy. Sometimes medication is used to alleviate the strong symptoms and thus make therapy possible in the first place.
Which psychotherapy one chooses depends on what one's goals are. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is useful when one wants to overcome specific problems and is less interested in the exact reasons.
How does cognitive behavioral therapy work?
Behavior therapy is based on behaviorism, which assumes that human behavior is learned and therefore changeable and can be relearned. In behavioral therapy, the aim is to find out whether there are certain behaviors that make life more difficult and increase problems. Such behaviors are then to be changed in the next step.
With depressive thoughts, those affected often tend to withdraw and not be as active. This makes them feel even more unhappy and isolated. In behavioral therapy, this mechanism can be recognized and changed.
Therapy duration and procedure
Close and trusting cooperation is one of the most important things in cognitive behavioral therapy. It can sometimes take a while to find the right therapist.
Thanks to the option of a free intro call, WePractice allows you to get to know your therapist before booking a session. Here you can search for a suitable therapist./our-therapists
If you like the therapist, you can present your problems and set wishes and expectations for the therapy in a subsequent initial consultation. Then the goals of the therapy will be discussed and a therapy plan will be created. If your personal goals change, they will be adjusted accordingly.
Part of the therapy is often to record your thoughts in a diary and then review them together in therapy. Progress and problems are discussed regularly.
Compared to other therapies, cognitive behavioral therapy is a short-term treatment and it is not possible to say exactly how long such therapy can last. For some patients, just a few sessions are enough and the problems and complaints improve; for others, treatment over several months may be necessary. A one-on-one session usually lasts one hour. The sessions take place once a week. Cognitive-behavioral therapies are offered in therapeutic practices, clinics and rehabilitation facilities. In some cases, group therapies or online therapies are also offered.
Opportunities and benefits of cognitive-behavioral therapy
Cognitive-behavioral therapies are very effective and especially in the case of depression or anxiety disorders a proven and successful procedure. In psychology, cognitive behavioral therapy is considered a proven method because the therapist is guiding. The concrete goals of the therapy can thus be achieved particularly well.