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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a talk therapy modality developed through the combined principles and practices of cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy models. As with many other modern talk therapy modalities, cognitive behavioral therapy was developed over the course of years via trial-and-error.

However, since its framework was formally finalized, cognitive behavioral therapy has become one of the most heavily researched and most often cited forms of successful talk therapy, and can be used in the treatment of:

  • Mood disorders (such as depression and bipolar disorder)
  • Anxiety disorders (such as phobias, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, and OCD)
  • PTSD and other stress disorders
  • Substance use disorder and behavioral addiction
  • Eating disorders
  • Panic disorder
  • And more.

The principles of CBT are simple, which is one of the reasons it is successful. CBT argues that:

  • Your thoughts and emotions influence your behaviors, so learning to manage them can change the way you act.
  • Your behaviors have an impact on your thoughts and emotions, so changing how you act can affect how you feel.
  • In both instances, you have control, or can learn to regain it

This positive feedback loop aims to take advantage of the way we reinforce our behaviors with positive thinking, and the way our behaviors can reinforce a positive mindset. More concretely, CBT sessions may focus on problem-solving, psychoeducation, exposure-and-response, as well as the namesake cognitive and behavioral restructuring exercises.

Who Can Benefit from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

We’ve already noted how different mental health conditions can be treated with cognitive behavioral therapy. However, rather than list disorders, we want to go a little more in-depth as to what mindsets and negative thought processes cognitive behavioral therapy might seek to address.

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy aims to address poor body image and negative associations with yourself. .
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy aims to address low self-esteem, impostor syndrome, and the idea that you aren’t worthy of anything good. .
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy aims to address overwhelming worry and unrelenting, intrusive thoughts that you can’t help but have and feel.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy aims to work on an individual’s coping skills, and help them self-perpetuate the things they learn during therapy through improved self-sufficiency
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy aims to improve every client’s understanding of their condition, and utilize that familiarity to allow them to recognize its onset and recurrence as early as possible, learn and understand when and why to seek help from others, and allow oneself to cope with and deal with problems that might arise as a result of a mental diagnosis.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy sets clear timelines for treatment and utilizes positive goal-setting to help clients feel that they are making session-to-session progress, progress that they can carry forward into their daily lives and continue to refine through the skillsets developed during therapy.
  • And more.

The underpinnings of cognitive behavioral therapy empower individuals to reclaim control, prioritize problem-solving, and focus on healthy, positive re-evaluations of the here and now.

Common Questions About Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Teens

Cognitive behavioral therapy is perhaps the most commonly recommended talk therapy modality or treatment method for mental health issues in general. As such, we receive many questions about cognitive behavioral therapy, especially in the context of teen mental health treatment, such as:

Is CBT suitable for children or adolescents?

Over the years, CBT has been adapted and modified for specialized treatment plans, such as adjusting specifically for OCD-related goals, addiction treatment, or anxiety vs. depression. There are many CBT methods that therapists find work better with children and teens than with adults, and vice versa. Because it’s often considered the gold standard in talk therapy, many therapists and counselors who work with kids and teens utilize CBT methods primarily. This can include doing worksheets together, finding relaxation techniques, talking to a teen while doing something therapeutic like drawing (art therapy), or teen group therapy

What are the most common CBT techniques used in therapy?

CBT envelops a large number of different thought and behavioral exercises. Common techniques and elements that you might find over and over again in individualized CBT frameworks and cognitive behavioral guides include journaling, breathing techniques, examining cognitive distortions, practicing mindfulness (by stepping outside of a rumination), and exposure and response prevention.

How does CBT address addiction?

CBT can be part of a comprehensive or holistic treatment plan for substance use disorders, but often alongside other treatment elements, such as a medically supervised detoxification process, long-term drug withdrawal, and family therapy. Elements of CBT may be used in individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy sessions for teens with addiction problems or a history of drug abuse. In many cases, CBT can help people with addiction problems learn to identify and separate themselves from their cravings or negative thoughts, identify the elements of an oncoming relapse, and develop a protocol for getting help

Can CBT be used to treat physical conditions like chronic pain?

Talk therapy methods like cognitive behavioral therapy can be used in the management of chronic pain, for teens with physical conditions that are affecting or are related to their mental health. In these cases, therapy doesn’t treat nor change the physical condition, but can help people better cope with it, and enjoy a better quality of life.

Want to learn more about cognitive behavioral therapy for teens or get started now? Give us a call at 657.282.4263 or get in touch with us over at the Arrow House; we will happily answer any other questions you have or get you a consultation for treatment.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at the Arrow House

Cognitive behavioral therapy may be one of the talk therapy modalities that best suit your needs. We at the Arrow House work with a variety of therapeutic frameworks to help clients make progress with their mental health needs.

Take the first step towards lasting recovery at the Arrow House. Our evidence-based approach includes specialized cognitive behavioral therapy services tailored to your unique needs. Start your journey to a healthier, happier life today. Contact us for a confidential consultation and embark on a path of healing.