A term that not many of us will have come across before, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a kind of talking therapy for people with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, anger management and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) amongst others, which primarily focuses on how the sufferer perceives the things going on in their life.
Aspects covered include looking at thoughts, images, beliefs and attitudes and how this impacts on the way they behave and deal with emotional problems in day-to-day life. Also the therapist will try to help the patient find was of changing any pessimistic forms of thinking or behaviour that could be causing difficulties. Focussing on these issues and pinpointing them can, in turn, change the way you feel and have a positive impact on your life.
Being a cognitive behaviour therapist can be extremely rewarding as they tend to adopt an equal relationship between themselves and the patient, offering practical and focussed advice, particularly in one-on-one sessions.
There are many avenues to explore with regards to CBT training, many courses offer around six weeks' worth of intensive sessions, teaching skills such as cognitive behavioral and motivational experiments, disputing techniques and ways in which to help deal with emotional problems.
Here are a few examples of case studies showing how CBT can help those with common mental health issues:
A middle-aged woman was diagnosed with depression and given CBT, her therapist noted down a short history of events that led up to the woman becoming anxious and depressed and started to conduct a pictorial representation of how these thoughts, feelings and behaviour had shaped her current view on life.
After a couple of months the woman was reportedly feeling better after being encouraged to look at her negative beliefs and question what evidence she had for justifying them, also to try and be realistic about her issues. She'd undertaken some exercise, become more socially active and most importantly, developed the technique for recognising when her brain was distorting her cognitive processes.
OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
A young man under 30 had developed compulsive rituals ever since he was a boy, triggered from anxious thoughts about protecting his mother from harm, these included checking all electrics were turned off before he left the house and kissing his mother a certain amount of times before bed.
His therapist was able to explain what was causing him to feel the need for this constant reassurance that things wouldn't result in catastrophe, they compiled a formulation of his rituals and he began to realise that they were n fact perpetuating his anxiety. After a few months of slowly giving up his rituals he was able to see the benefit of change and could start enjoying his life again.
For more information on how you could train to become a cognitive behavioral therapist, look online for excellent coaching schools and colleges and enquire about enrolling for the next cohort of students.