Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a popular psychotherapy treatment for people facing depression, stress and/or anxiety disorders. It is a blend of cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy. Cognitive therapy focuses on modifying thought patterns, while behavioral therapy helps to reduce and rectify negative behaviors.
A therapist who uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to treat his/her patients has to use a very structured approach, whereby the patient is required to follow the ABC Model. As per this model, stress is caused when an individual faces an Activating Event (A), holds certain Beliefs (B) about that event, which then result in Consequences (C) that affect the individual unfavorably Email Extractor Software.
In other words, the ABC model helps an individual assess the thoughts that go through his mind when he/she experiences a certain positive/negative situation. Those thoughts lead him to behave in certain ways. If a person’s thought patterns are generally of a stress-inducing nature, the therapist will guide the patient how to consciously change those thought patterns so as to decrease the chances of triggering stress, anxiety, depression etc.
The procedure of CBT can be better explained by considering an actual example, such as a situation in which a patient is having difficulty coping with the death of a close friend. The death of the patient’s friend will be the Activating Event (A) in this example. The belief(s) about this incident could vary from person to person, but for the sake of this example, the Belief (B) of the said patient is that the friend died an untimely death and the loss simply cannot be reconciled with, no matter how much time elapses. Naturally, this belief is only going to make the patient feel low, so depression is the Consequence (C) of this belief.
The therapist will have to guide the patient towards changing his belief about the event by suggesting that death is never untimely; it is God’s will, and as time passes, the friend’s death will become more bearable, especially if he believes that his friend is in a much better place. The consequences of thinking such thoughts are that the patient will gradually be able to overcome melancholic feelings and counter the onset of a depressive episode.
CBT is also known to have been effective in the case of patients with mood disorders such as bipolar disorder. Research has proved that if such patients learn how to apply the ABC Model to everyday situations then the chances of having a relapse or a manic/depressive episode, decreases greatly. CBT enables the patient to identify thought patterns that tend to trigger stress. Once they are able to pinpoint such thoughts, they are able to inhibit the onset of other symptoms of their mental illness by diverting and changing negative and stressful thought patterns.