What is cognitive behavioral therapy?
Cognitive behavioral therapy deals with changing and improving life through thinking and behavior changes. The emphasis in this treatment is for a change-oriented process that encourages rapid improvement and focused work. This may be the reason for CBT to become so popular in Israel and all over the western world. The process starts with examining behavioral changes related to stress factors, examining of thoughts, and a gradual progression toward concrete targets. The ability to study is the basis of this method. By means of treatment, the patient quickly acquires new habits and creates new behaviors, in a quicker manner compared to dynamic treatments.
What are the advantages of practicing CBT?
- Effectiveness– significant improvements in the symptoms the person came for treatment with.
- Focus-The treatment is focused on the patient’s current challenge
- Short term– treatment is significantly shorter than psychotherapy treatment (“dynamic” therapy)
- Research based– cbt is researched for over 40 years
- Patient controlled– the patient directs the therapy process and has significant impact on its success, encouraging the patient to make a positive change in other areas of his life.
Main types of CBT treatment:
Cognitive therapy– (which was already practiced in the 60’s) – is an examination and investigation of the automatic thoughts associated with a problem or difficulty.
Behavioral therapy-During therapy the patient acquires gradually new behaviors, which were avoided in the past, and create an emotional change as a result (of the successful behavioral change).
“the 3rd wave” is the third type, which was developed in the last 20 years, and combines techniques such as mindfulness and work on “acceptance” of both the symptom and the body.
All types of CBT treatments have been investigated widely and have been found to be effective in thousands of studies and in various situations and difficulties.
Which difficulties are best treated with CBT?
- Social anxiety, stage fright
- Test anxiety
- PTSD related anxieties
- Panic attacks
- A sense of disaster
- Coping with physical illness
- Sleeping difficulties – insomnia, difficulties in falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night
- Unexplained pains/ medical problems- headaches, migraines, stomach aces, diarrhea, allergy, back ace
- Disturbing thoughts
- Obsessive compulsion disorders and actions
Does CBT fit only for adults?
Not at all. CBT is a great method, that helps also children and teenagers, as they frequently have difficulties sharing their feelings. CBT treatments often include a work with imagination, and they are also used to the idea of homework. CBT is effective for children that struggle with anxiety and phobias, and for habits change- over eating, enuresis and behavior problems