What Happens During Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

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Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help individuals develop skills to deal with life challenges by identifying and practicing new ways of thinking about and responding to events.

CBT can be beneficial for people dealing with mental health conditions. At Blue Elk Family Clinic in Nashville, IN, Misty Sanchez, LMHC-A, uses this method to help patients cope with life challenges.

Before making an appointment, people often want to know how CBT sessions work. Below, we'll look at what patients can expect from cognitive behavioral therapy.

What are the benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy?

CBT focuses on creating new thought processes that allow people to deal with stressful situations, intrusive thoughts, feelings of sadness, anxiety, fear, etc. This approach typically involves a one-on-one conversation with a therapist about how they usually react to stressful events.

Understanding our internal dialogues during hard times can help us acknowledge how we learned to think and react in specific ways, as well as take charge of our reactions. While we can't control the world around us, we can control our responses.

Developing skills for identifying thought patterns and new skills for reframing challenges can help people cope with mental health issues, such as:

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

  • Phobias

  • PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)

  • Eating disorders

  • Sleep disorders

  • Substance abuse disorders and other addictive behaviors

What happens during cognitive behavioral therapy?

CBT is a set of skills patients learn from one-on-one or group therapy sessions. These sessions are not a life-long commitment. Most patients need 5 – 20 sessions (though some may need more or less).

During CBT sessions, patients may share information about their thoughts, fears, health history, family life, and more. However, you will not be forced to share issues you are not ready to discuss. This information is used to help your therapist tailor advice on coping mechanisms to your specific needs.

At Blue Elk Family Clinic, Misty may suggest strategies, such as:

  • Naming fears

  • Acknowledging damaging feelings, reactions, and thought patterns

  • Identifying events that trigger negative feelings

  • Using mindfulness techniques to recognize your thought patterns and reactions

  • Using role-playing to help face fears and find the words to help you communicate with others

  • Visualization techniques to help you anticipate and respond to difficult moments

  • Creating new ways of responding to events and triggers that lead to more positive reactions

CBT aims to empower patients to act as their own therapists when treatment is over.

Who is a good candidate for CBT?

Almost anyone struggling to cope with day-to-day events or working to recover from a crisis may be a candidate for CBT. After an initial consultation, Misty can recommend therapy or a more appropriate treatment course for those who need a different approach.

CBT is also helpful for those who are on medication for mental health issues but would still like to develop coping skills. It does not take the place of medication prescribed by a doctor.

Learn about cognitive behavioral therapy in Nashville, IN

If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, food or sleep disorders, or are struggling with addiction, CBT may be able to help you take your life back and develop positive coping skills.

Patients in and around Nashville, IN can schedule a consultation with Misty Sanchez, LMHC-A, at Blue Elk Family Clinic to learn more about cognitive behavioral therapy to see if it's a good fit.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.