Among all types of therapies used for treating mental disorders, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is considered the “king”. Having said that, you can never go wrong with undertaking CBT sessions in helping you recover from any mental problems.
Alongside this, its main goal is to help you understand the interconnection of your thoughts, emotions, and behavior. Once you fully understand that, you will work together with your therapist in replacing your unhealthy thinking and emotions with positive ones.
How Effective is CBT?
Based on medical records, CBT shows an effectivity rate of 50%-75% for patients suffering from anxiety and depression. These patients religiously availed the 5-15 modules of CBT and all of them received medications as well.
How Long Does It Take for CBT to Work?
The majority of the patients who recovered from depression and anxiety finished their CBT program, which means they have completed the 12 to 20 weeks treatment with one or two sessions per week. One CBT session usually lasts around 30-60 minutes.
Conversely, a few of the medical practitioners and rehab centers are now promoting an intensive CBT program (I-CBT), which aims to treat those severe levels of mental problems.
For this I-CBT plan, the entire treatment will be contracted to a month or a week, with one or two sessions that can last around eight hours or longer.
Online or Face-to-Face CBT: Which Is More Effective?
The occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic also led to another innovative way of administering CBT, that is through online therapy sessions instead of the conventional one.
In a study conducted on 3,876 patients who underwent an online CBT program, their recovery rate was around 82% to 86%. Basically, the strategies and mechanisms under online CBT are parallel with the traditional ones, except we are doing it virtually.
Generally, it made therapy sessions more accessible, convenient, and safe for both the patient and the therapist. However, some individuals still prefer the physical CBT sessions, therefore, it will depend on your preference whether to avail online or face-to-face CBT program.
How CBT Changes Your Brain?
We all have fears and worries in life where our brain reacts and influences our thoughts, emotions, and behavior. A patient with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) was examined using positron emission tomography (PET).
When the patient was triggered by a factor or event, his brain lights up under the PET exam. After undergoing CBT specifically the “exposure and response prevention” (ERP), the patient was examined again using PET to see if it made an impact on the brain. Amazingly, that part of his brain which lit up before no longer emits the same light intensity after undertaking CBT sessions.
Nevertheless, further studies are yet to be performed to further support the effectiveness of this talking therapy to other disorders like insomnia, sexual disorders, and more.
What are the Setbacks of CBT on Patients?
Before we go on the advantages of this conversational therapy, let’s first uncover some of its limitations or setbacks. By doing this, you get a holistic understanding of CBT’s healing process.
- The therapist alone cannot solve your problems because CBT is a two-way process, so you need to cooperate and follow the procedures.
- It’s no instant treatment program since you need to allocate much time for every session.
- The structured process of this therapy might not be that suitable for patients with highly complex mental problems.
- Due to its confrontation nature, the initial stage of CBT might make you feel more anxious.
- There’s a suspicion that this therapy may not dig deeper into the very reason for a mental problem since it focuses on the present moment.
- This therapy might be limited in its effects because it doesn’t talk about the things outside the patient.
What are the Benefits of CBT on Patients?
We’re done talking about the percentage recovery rate of CBT on patients with depression and anxiety, now let’s move forward to the seven prime benefits of this conversational psychotherapy for patients with mental disorders in a general sense.
1. Increases Self-Confidence
Your therapist will find ways on how to grow your self-esteem safely and comfortably. When this happens, it truly helps you develop positive coping mechanisms when dealing with problems.
It’s a practical and evidenced-based therapy where you have a direct companion in case you feel down again. Besides your therapist, you’ll meet other patients who also have the same condition as you.
With that, you’ll get insights and hopes from your co-members’ success stories.
3. Effective Anger Control
Uncontrolled anger is one common dilemma among patients suffering from mental disorders. Fortunately, you will work with your therapist in redirecting and managing your anger when facing triggers or stressful events.
Additionally, you will be taught how to positively manage your emotions, so you don’t get carried away and make wrong decisions.
4. Promoting Positive Thinking
Most mental disorders are rooted in unhealthy thoughts, so growing positive ones is a good countermeasure. Having said that, your therapist will guide you in creating a healthy thinking disposition to avoid these problems.
5. Avoid Relapse
CBT will help you develop a healthier coping mechanism which is vital for long-term recovery from any mental illnesses. Alongside this, you have a higher chance of preventing any relapse after completing your CBT and medication programs.
6. You’ll Have A Healthier Means Of Communicating
If you’re suffering from depression, anxiety, OCD, and other mental illnesses, then there’s a higher chance that your communication skills are unhealthy.
However, you don’t have to worry about that since your therapist will help you establish more positive and friendly communication skills.
7. Enhanced Means of Coping with Stress
When your mind is bothered and you cannot control your emotions, there’s a huge tendency that you’ll make the wrong decision. In that case, you need to undergo CBT since the therapist will guide you in developing healthier ways of managing stress.
How To Prepare Yourself for Treatment
We hope you got excellent insights into the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in treating mental disorders like depression and anxiety. Nonetheless, there are still minor setbacks from this therapy, yet overall it truly helps the patient.
If you’re ready to enroll in a CBT program, then ensure you are working with a trusted and licensed psychotherapist. Once you find one, your next step is getting the right budget and how you’re going to finance your treatment.
Finally, your last preparation is to let your family, employer, school, and loved ones know that you’re undergoing this therapy because it will help you recover. Also, make a list of your concerns and thoughts that you want to address to your therapist.