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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

We are what we think… 

Imagine, two friends who works together at the same workplace are going to have coffee outside office. While they were walking down the stairs, a colleague of theirs comes running to them and asks them to come back to the as the boss is looking for them. 

One of the friends think: “ohh, I think the boss might pissed as we were going out for the coffee, or may be he found some mistakes in the project that I submitted.” As a result of this thought process he feels nervous and starts panicking 

The other friend on the other hand thinks “fine let’s meet the boss first, he might need some help with something. Will carry on with the coffee later”. 

Two people might be in the same situation but the way they feel about it and the way the react to it is totally different. CBT model emphasizes that it is not the situation that causes the emotional distress that an individual experiences. CBT argues that it is the individual’s interpretation or view of that event or situation which causes the emotional distress. 

How does CBT works?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a talking therapy which helps people understand their thoughts emotions and behaviours in different situations. Our thoughts, physical actions and emotions are all linked, and they influence each other. Changing our thought process will definitely bring the change in other aspects too. CBT works by focussing on the negative thoughts and learning how to challenge them, as well as learning how to change unhelpful behaviours such as avoidance.

It is natural and common to have negative thoughts when one is feeling low and anxious. The negative thoughts pops into our mind without any effort and automatically.

If a person is experiencing low mood, he or she may think of the world, the future and even themselves in a negative way. Eventually they start feeling worthless, helpless and hopeless. 

If a person is experiencing anxiety the negative automatic thought might be he overestimating threat and danger around him, and he would feel, when that situation comes he won’t be able to cope or escape it. Some people may try to avoid the situation of anxiety all together. This may give momentary relief but in the long run it’s not helpful, in fact it ends up reinforcing the avoiding behaviour. This cycle needs to be broken, and CBT helps in doing so. 

Can you brief about the steps of cognitive behaviour therapy? 

The first step, while doing CBT is to help the patient set goals, mutually, keeping these points in mind: 

  • Goal needs to be specific 
  • Goal which is measurable 
  • Goal which is achievable 
  • Goal should be relevant 
  • Goal which can be completed in a specific time 

While we set the goals, it is important to keep in mind that it may be difficultly for patients to change the thought process and habit of their lifetime in a few weeks. Remind yourself that improvement can be gradual, which is normal

and to be expected. The homework assignment which is discussed by the patient and therapist, needs to be completed by the patient before coming for the next session. If the patient misses the homework, the therapy might not get forward. 

Second step is called thought challenging. With different techniques the patient learns how to manage negative automatic thoughts, which will help them manage their low mood and anxiety by realizing that most of their thoughts are extreme and unrealistic. 

This step can be further divided into three steps: 

  1. Catching thoughts 
  2. Looking for the evidence 
  3. Finding alternative thoughts 

Third step is called problem solving. Although people who experience low mood or anxiety may worry about things in general, sometimes there may actually be a need to deal with problems and difficulties in a practical way. It can be done by: 

  1. Identifying the problem 
  2. Identify all possible explanations 
  3. Evaluation 
  4. Selecting solutions 
  5. Planning 
  6. Taking actions 
  7. Review the action 

The fourth and final step is of follow ups. Even though a patient may benefit out of CBT, but sometimes he or she may just go back to their old habits. It takes practise and efforts to develop new habits and in order to prevent relapse, it is vital to keep a check and also have a prevention plan. 

Some of the common questions which may help you: 

Who is authorized to execute CBT sessions? 

Only a RCI licensed professional is called a Clinical Psychologist and is authorised to conduct CBT. 

Can CBT help in depression? 

Yes, CBT is the first line treatment pan with other therapies used to treat depression. Any kind of maladaptive thought and thought disorders can be treated by CBT.

Who all can be treated by CBT? 

Evidence suggests it can be an effective treatment for a range of mental health problems, such as: 

  • anxiety and panic attack 
  • Bipolar disorder 
  • personality disorder 
  • Eating disorders 
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder 
  • Phobia 
  • PTSD 
  • Mood disorders 

Can CBT be conducted on different age groups? 

CBT can be administered on children, adults, adolescents, couples and families.

Where Can I get the Cognitive behavior therapy ?

You will get the best Cognitive behavior therapy in kolkata.

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