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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Used To Treat Wide Variety Of Mental Health Issues

Author : Stephen Daniels

"Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them." These words of Epictetus, recorded two thousand years ago, are as true today as they were then. They are, in fact, the basis of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, one of today's most widely used methods of dealing with depression, anxiety and other emotional problems. As opposed to psychoanalysis, CBT is time-limited and includes real face-to-face interaction between patient and psychologist, rather than the impersonal, often lifelong relationship celebrated by such noted neurotics as Woody Allen and Richard Lewis.

Typically fifteen to twenty sessions with a licensed psychotherapist, spent in discussions involving a real change of mind, is often enough to improve self-esteem, depression, grief, anger or other negative mental states. Rather than dwelling on one's problems, CBT teaches patients how to think about them objectively, offering tools for separating emotion from the thought process and learning to find practical ways to overcome the vicissitudes of daily life.

Locating the right psychologist for a particular patient takes a bit of research, but is really quite a simple matter. It can be as easy as searching the Yellow Pages or the internet for a CBT specialist, or soliciting referrals from physicians, friends or your health insurance plan. Some Employee Assistance Plans offer counseling services by a number of therapists from which to choose. Of course, a potential patient should always check the credentials, education and background of any counselor prior to making a commitment to a treatment schedule and a trial session or two will reveal whether compatibility is an issue. Keep looking if you need to, until you find the one you feel most comfortable with.

Generally speaking, the process is quite straightforward. It begins with identifying the issues to be addressed, then sharing your thoughts about them with your therapist. This step is followed by distinguishing and challenging any inaccurate or negative thoughts you have about the problem, while testing their validity. It is crucial to understand the difference between fact and perception; just because your cognitive content was implanted in childhood does not make it correct. However, being habituated to certain beliefs and behaviors may be so deeply ingrained, letting go of them may be the most difficult part of your therapy and necessitate the most work.

This work will generally include homework assignments like journaling and "self-talk", plus group therapy sessions with other patients. Additionally, medication is often prescribed by the treating psychologist to help ease stress and other symptoms. All in all, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is fast becoming one of the most time and cost effective methods of improving mental health recommended by forward-thinking psychologists.

Author's Resource Box

If you are looking for a psychologist in New York City who has experience treating serious mental health issues with CBT treatment, internet marketing strategist Stephen Daniels recommends CBT DBT Associates. Experts on staff also use CBT to work with patients with less severe mental health issues.

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Tags:   cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, psychologist

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Submitted : 2011-03-01    Word Count : 1    Times Viewed: 349