The Basics of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), employed to treat depression, is a type of therapy which involves conversation and teamwork between a therapist and a patient in an attempt to discover new systematic techniques to change or curb negative thoughts which can arise during depressive states. CBT helps to change the way a person thinks (Cognitive) and reacts (Behavior). These changes can help the patient to feel better since it focuses on the ‘present’ complications and difficulties. Rather than concentrating on the causes of the depression or past symptoms; it looks for methods to improve the patient’s current state of mind and the way they think and approach situations that have triggered their depression symptoms in the past.


An Overview:

CBT for depression is a kind of psychotherapy which typically instructs patients to take into account how their thought patterns influences their moods. Psychological issues such as depression arise out of the cognitive theory of depression, that states, several people get depressed due to recurrent, negative thoughts. Cognitive therapy for dejection typically asks the patients to assess their thoughts and analyze their psychological reactions to those thoughts, with the assistance and supervision of a therapist. This therapy can aid patients in replacing negative thoughts with the positive ones, and it also helps the patients to bring about behavioral transformation that offers positive reinforcement and experience. CBT for despair is effective in treating mild to severe cases of depression.

Theory behind Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:

Several cognitive psychologists share a common opinion that thought patterns generally forecast mood. People who usually experience optimistic thoughts enjoy enhanced feelings of happiness and good mood, whereas people who weigh themselves down under negative thoughts often suffer from low mood or exhibit evidence of depression. Many cognitive psychologists state that it is normal to have the sporadic negative thought. Depression most frequently ensues once negative thoughts develop into a habit and keeps recurring routinely. Usually, the patient himself fails to recognize the negative nature of most of his thoughts.

How It Works:

Therapists who employ cognitive therapy for depression believe that it can be treated by minimizing the occurrence of negative and erroneous thoughts that influence the depressed patient. The therapist typically asks the patient to observe his thought processes all through the duration of his depressed mood. The therapist usually asks the patient to present evidence that adverse thoughts may not be precisely true. Once the patient himself uncovers the evidence to disagree with a particular pessimistic thought; the therapist works on it to build a strong positive outlook which is employed to replace the depressing one. CBT typically suggests patients to analyze the way they normally think and swap any disheartening thoughts with the optimistic ones whenever possible.

Additionally, cognitive psychologists request patients to change their behavior and response to circumstances that may possibly spark depression. Most people who suffer from depression experience strong emotions of despondent mood during certain situations or certain times during the day. Therapists typically aid their patients to form positive and favorable responses to these situations and through this technique, patients tend to improve their own situations and benefit from more positive experiences, especially in circumstances and situations that once caused depression and worsened mood.

CBT aids to make the patient understand that the problems are most often formed by their thoughts. The situation itself does not make them unhappy, but it is the way they think about it and react.

Situation: You go for a walk and your friend walks by ignoring you.

Negative thoughts such as ‘he ignored me’ results in you feeling depressed and you choose to avoid your friend.

However, positive thoughts like ‘he looked lost – I hope nothing is wrong?’ implies that you are concerned about your friend and instead of nurturing negative feelings; you contact him to ensure if everything is fine. CBT helps to inculcate positive and helpful thoughts that aid to evade unhelpful feelings and make the person view a situation from a better perspective.

Effectiveness of the Treatment:

Even though the cognitive therapy process for depression may be slow, it is considered to be quite effective. Patients that experience mild to moderate desolation normally notice a reduction of symptoms solely with cognitive behavioral therapy treatment. Patients that suffer from severe depression can obtain significant benefit as well, however they may additionally need to take antidepressant drugs. Psychologists affirm that patients who go through cognitive therapy to treat depression, with or devoid of concurrent use of medication, typically face a lower chance of relapse as compared to the patients who opt to treat depression with over-the-counter medication.

Duration of the Treatment:

CBT normally entails weekly or bi-weekly meetings with a therapist. The number of meetings varies significantly depending upon the issues and objectives, with the treatment process generally lasting from one to six months.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a form of treatment that has constantly been shown to be amongst the most effectual in reducing or eliminating depression disorders by concentrating on a person’s thoughts and perceptions and their affect on his disposition and actions. CBT has a proven history of effectiveness and for those who do not wish to take antidepressants cognitive behavorial therapy may be a recommended course of treatment depending on the patient’s needs.