Impact of Cognitive Behavior Therapy on Mental Health
Introduction to Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Over the decades there has been increasing interest in the likely effectiveness of psychological interventions in a clinical setting. Several studies have tried to examine the possible clinical implications of cognitive and behavioural approaches and their application in the therapy of various illnesses and to enhance the general health of an individual. Living with chronic illness necessitates the ability to adjust to life with the stressors of continuous symptoms, such as pain, fatigue, depression, and anxiety. It is necessary to identify how illnesses can be effectively treated or managed because of the sustained nature of persistent diseases and their widespread, potentially severe impact. The most valuable psychological intervention, that has been used widely and commonly among the psychiatric patients and patients with medical conditions, is called cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).
Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) which is also a popular form of psychotherapy. It is a structured and time-restricted approach that is well-recognized and has been widely used through helping people in coping up with their health problems such as depression, anxiety, and anger. In other words, it refers to the treatment group which are based on the principles that maladaptive behaviour is triggered by inappropriate or unreasonable thinking patterns. It has been proved that the way one thinks deeply influences the way one feels. Therefore, it has been said that learn to think in a different way that may enable the person to feel and act accordingly.
Several cognitive-behavioural techniques have been developed to address a variety of clinical problems such as:
- Cognitive therapy
- Problem-solving therapy,
- Dialectical behaviour therapy,
- Meta-cognitive therapy,
- Rational-emotive behaviour therapy,
- Cognitive processing therapy,
- Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy,
- The cognitive-behavioural analysis system of psychotherapy
- Schema-focused therapy
Although a set of basic principles underlies all these techniques.CBT for affected individuals differ in both, their form and application, they all emphasize the importance of changing cognitions and behaviours as a way of reducing symptoms and improving the functioning of the affected person. CBT can be divided into three major divisions:
- Cognitive Restructuring: It assumes that psychological stress is the result of maladaptive thoughts
- Coping Skills Therapies: It involves the designing of vast range skills that assist the client in coping with several anxious situations.
- Problem-SolvingTherapies: It is the combination of both which emphasize the expansion of strategies for dealing with a broad variety of personal issues and plans the intervention program to recognize and resolve the client’s difficulties.
Processes Involved in Cognitive Behavior Therapy
According to several studies, it has been demonstrated that the therapist and patient work collectively to detect specific patterns of thinking and behaviour that strengthen the patient’s difficulties. The treatment takes place in several sessions which includes home assignments as well for both to examine and challenge specific thinking patterns and to execute behavioural change. The therapy process generally involves the following steps:
1. Thought challenging or cognitive restructuring: It is a process in which person challenge negative thinking patterns that contribute to anxiety and replace them with more positive and realistic thoughts. This involves three steps:
- Identifying negative thoughts: In which the therapist helps the patient to recognize their personal style of thinking as a cognitive therapy model is based on the view that stressful states are often maintained by exaggerated ways of thinking.
- Challenging your negative thoughts: In this, the therapist instructs how to assess anxiety
- Provoking thoughts: It involves examining the evidence for frightening thoughts, analyzing useless beliefs, and testing out the truth of negative predictions.
2. Strategies for challenging negative thoughts: it includes experiments, evaluating the pros and cons of avoiding the thing you fear, and deciding the reasonable possibility that bad consequences will happen
3. Replacing negative thoughts with realistic thoughts: it involves identifying and examining the negative beliefs and replacing them with new thoughts that are more precise and positive.
Moreover, many experts suggested there are five attributes to a person’s life experience that includes thoughts, mood behaviours, physical reactions, and the environment. For instance, a person who has been discarded by a spouse (environment) and sees themselves as a letdown (thought), feels discouraged(mood), becomes antisocial activities (behaviour) and complains of low energy and increased fatigue (physical). The findings of some recent research suggest that in obsessive patients, both successful cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and medical treatment lead to a positive outcome.
Common Techniques in CBTS
Even though every form of CBT have differed in the aspects of their treatment packages, but the problem-oriented focus is usually believed as a crucial element. Therapist and client discuss the problem-solving process in terms of a cycle that comprised of the following steps in which the resolver must:
- Recognize or identify personal problems.
- Describe and speak for the problem mentally
- Develop a solution approach
- Organize own expertise about the challenge
- Give mental and physical means for resolving the problem
- Examine own progress toward the goal
- Assess the solution for accuracy
Cognitive Methods that are used in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy are infinite but few techniques among them include daily diaries to recognize dysfunctional thoughts and beliefs, classification of negative thoughts, authenticity testing through questioning, setting up trials to test mistaken beliefs and cognitive practice of coping with difficult situations.
According to research outcomes, it has been concluded that CBT is an appropriate intervention for reducing psychological risk factors in medical patients. Besides, it is appropriate for psychological care and it should be a part of the routine service presented by all rehabilitation programs, it can help prevent and avoid depressed and anxious mood because of non-adherence to the treatment program that can lead to a reduction in disability and impaired quality of life. Clinical experiences have shown that CBT can lessen the symptoms of many emotional disorders and it does not declare to be able to alleviate all of the problems listed but it might help the medical patient to find new methods of coping while surviving with those disorders. A combination of scientific, logical, and behavioural surfaces into CBT, makes it a strong and complete method to understand and overcome the psychological and medical problems. It can be applied to assist people with a wide range of health conditions and can be for anyone regardless of their background or situation. Hundreds of studies have been conducted that shows the efficacy and benefits of CBT and proves that it is adaptable to treating many psychological problems and life challenges that individuals face. It is indicated that promoting psychological health can improve physical health and the outcome of physical and mental illnesses.