8 Reasons CBT Works So Well

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8 Reasons CBT Works So Well

We can often believe that our mood is the driver of how we act. If someone invites us to see a show – we might get sweaty palms, tumbling stomach, shortness of breath – Panic! If we slow the process down and look at what happens inside our brain, we can see that before that was a thought: Me, why would you want to ask me? I’m not interested! That negative thought creates the panic emotion, and the emotion determines our response.

Controlling our emotions is hard to do, but controlling our thoughts, becomes a lot easier. When we back up and look at the thoughts affecting our emotions; we can gain real control over our personal situations and results. These are the 8 reasons CBT works so well.

What is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) works to encourage positive thoughts and expectations to challenge our negative defence mechanisms. Through self-help strategies, CBT provides more options, more control and a choice for how to respond; rather than letting irrational negatives take over.

Negative thoughts can become an automatic habit; pushing through for the first place in your mind whenever a certain event or experience is offered. These thoughts are irrational and illogical; but because they are automatically triggered, there is no chance for someone to question them or provide an alternative. CBT helps to build a rational voice in our minds. Through gentle questioning, the automatic negatives can be put on pause; so, a range of options and scenarios can be considered. 

How does CBT work

The reason people can struggle with anxiety and associated problems is their belief that something terrible will happen. This might be through negative expectations of their environment, as well as negative expectations of themselves, their ability and self-worth.

Fear, anxiety and subsequent coping mechanisms show up to prevent danger and keep the person safe from perceived harm.

By understanding and casting light on negative expectations and asking what else might happen; the one-way street to disaster opens up to provide new information. This allows a person to consider positive outcomes or see instances of their worth, skill and talents.

 What can CBT help with

CBT has been shown to assist across a wide range of mental and health issues; that can inhibit the enjoyment of life for children, teens and adults. This includes mild, moderate and even severe cases of:

  • Anxiety 
  • Depression
  • Social phobia
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Eating disorders
  • Anger issues
  • Panic disorder
  • Agoraphobia
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

In many cases there are physical symptoms that accompany stress as well, these will also be reduced and illuminated with CBT.

8 Reasons CBT Works So Well

Cognitive Behaviour Therapies have been around since the 1960s and have proven to be effective for a wide range of mental health conditions. Here are eight reasons why it works so well:

  1. It’s gentle. The non-intrusive approach is suitable for children, teens and adults and asks questions to reveal new opportunities
  2. Doesn’t spend time getting into the past, CBT works on providing tools you can use to improve your future
  3. Teaches you how to reduce anxiety and panic on the spot
  4. Helps rational thinking and decision-making come forward
  5. Works by accessing personal memories and positive experiences which are easy to accept and trust
  6. Gives people confidence and self-control to feel good about themselves and has more positive experiences
  7. Requires client input. While a trained therapist shows the way, the real work is done internally; this builds self-worth and personal ability as well as independence
  8. The same tools can be applied over a wide range of situations and experiences to help soothe and release a wide range of symptoms

It is absolutely possible to regain control over your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. CBT shows you how to challenge the automatic beliefs that are holding you back and teaches new skills that can be applied for instant relief.

With some practical strategies to modify your behaviour, you can start to live life and enjoy experiences again.

Featured photo by TienDat Nguyen on Unsplash
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