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If you’re suffering from mental health issues and want an effective method of treatment to help ease your symptoms, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) may provide the relief you need. Many therapists use CBT as a model of treatment in their practices. It has become an effective online therapy as well, especially during the last couple of years when so many of us have been stuck at home. If you’ve been wondering whether you should book an online CBT appointment, keep reading to discover everything you need to know.
What is CBT?
CBT is a form of therapy that’s often used in mental health counselling. It focuses on helping people discover how their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are influenced by each other. In basic terms, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a type of ‘training’ for your inner self-talk. You work closely with a therapist in a structured setting to become more aware of your inner voice and the negative thoughts that can result in negative feelings and negative behaviours. For example, your therapist may help you challenge your negative thought patterns and show you how to adopt new positive ones.
How Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Works
CBT helps you recognize your initial negative thoughts and feelings about yourself, other people, and situations in your life. It provides a framework to re-evaluate these thoughts in the context of the motivation behind them and the behaviours they may lead to. When you participate in CBT with a licensed therapist, you will learn problem-solving skills to help you cope with difficult situations, and strategies to change your behavioural patterns. These may include techniques on how to face, rather than avoid, challenging issues, role-playing to help prepare for potentially challenging situations, and effective ways to calm the mind and relax the body.
One of the characteristics that set CBT apart from other types of therapy is that it focuses on how you think and feel in the present rather than focusing on past issues. It also helps identify specific problems and provides practical tools to solve them. Your therapist will collaborate with you to help find ways to challenge and disrupt negative thought cycles on your own, rather than simply giving you advice and direction during your sessions with them.
How Is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Used in an Online Therapy Session?
If you decide to try online CBT, it will be offered in much the same way as it would if you were visiting a therapist in person. You will need to be comfortable with connecting through technology, but you will communicate with your therapist in the same manner and work through issues and exercises the same way as you would in person. Many people that live in rural areas or who have issues traveling to and from appointments prefer online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy because they can meet with a therapist from the privacy of their home without sacrificing results.
CBT encourages Autonomy
Quite often, CBT involves homework. CBT relies on new skills being practiced between sessions. Your therapist will review your work when you meet, so, in a sense, a lot of the progress is made on your own time. You can become your own therapist in a sense, using the skills and techniques you’ve learned in therapy to keep moving forward. Some useful techniques include recognizing how your behaviours and actions influence your thoughts and emotions. If you are prone to being ‘overwhelmed’, breaking down daunting tasks into smaller and more manageable pieces can make a big difference.
Which Conditions Respond Best to CBT?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has been used for many years to improve the symptoms associated with a range of different mental health issues.
Some of the disorders that respond best to CBT include:
- Mild to moderate depression
- Anxiety disorders
- Eating disorders
- Sleep disorders
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Substance use issues
- Sexual disorders
Some of the ways CBT can help address emotional challenges include:
- Treating a mental illness if medication isn’t a viable option
- Managing ongoing mental health symptoms
- Resolving relationship conflicts and learning better communication techniques
- Coping with grief and loss
- Acknowledging and overcoming emotional trauma from abuse or violence
- Coping with an illness or other medical issue
- Identifying useful ways to manage your emotions
Which is Better, CBT or DBT?
In your search for information about online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, you may have also come across the term Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, or DBT. If you are trying to determine which therapy would be best for you, here’s some information that will help you decide.
DBT is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy but has a greater focus on the intensity of experienced emotions and the integration of opposing or dualistic thought patterns. It has been used as a treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder and for those with suicidal thoughts.
As mentioned above, CBT is an effective treatment for depression, phobias, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, and other issues. So, it isn’t really about which one is better, but which one applies to your specific issues and situations you encounter. There are many other types of therapy that your therapist may see as better suited for you. The best course of action is to ask a licensed therapist for a professional assessment to find out which type of treatment is best for your needs.
If you’d like to learn more about online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, book an appointment with one of our therapists today.