Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy (also known as talk therapy) that helps clients replace old, unproductive and negative thought patterns into newer, more productive ones. Much of CBT is based on the idea that our thoughts either hinder or support us living in the present moment and our success in the future – if we’re constantly feeding our minds with self-doubt and negative talk, we will likely carry this negativity into our present moments. Many studies have shown that CBT is greatly effective in helping treat a variety of conditions, including: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, depression, and more.
If you’ve recently started CBT with your therapist, that’s great! You will likely gain invaluable skills that you can put directly towards your mental health, which will trickle into many other areas of your life in the most beautiful of ways. CBT is more hands-on, which means you may have some “homework” or take-home exercises to complete. Since CBT focuses on changing your thinking patterns, it will be quite an adjustment. Here are 3 challenges you can expect to work through while embracing this transformative, therapeutic technique:
- You’ll have to get used to thinking positively, especially if you’re not used to it. Even changing your thoughts from “I’ll never be able to complete this” to “I am strong enough to get through this” can bring about a sense of un-comfortability that you may not have experienced before. Even though it’s uncomfortable, it does get easier over time.
- You’ll have to practice using your tools during really challenging times – even if you don’t want to. The most transformative experiences are often the times where you practice changing your thought habits amidst a break down, an argument, or a depressive phase. It’s hard, but it’s absolutely worth it.
- You’ll have to admit to yourself when you’re wrong, and that can be hard to face at times. Nobody likes to admit when they’re wrong, but doing this will help you correct yourself as you train your brain to think differently.
A 2015 study published in The British Journal of Psychiatry sought to explore the effects of CBT on those with PTSD; 201 people with severe mental illness and PTSD participated in the study, and researchers found that participants in the CBT experienced greater improvement of symptoms than those who did not receive this form of treatment. Sometimes the most challenging things in life are the ones most worthwhile – CBT is certainly one of them.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.