Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Right For You?

October 24, 2017
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Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT is a therapy option that can be used to help people with a range of mental health conditions including anxiety. For most types of anxiety disorders, CBT can be one of the most effective options, although some cases do require a combination of medication or other alternative therapies.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy tends to work well for many people with anxiety because it helps them identify why they feel anxiety rather than simply covering the symptoms with the use of medicine.

So how do you know if Cognitive behavioral therapy is the right option for you if you have anxiety? Could it be useful for you as compared to other treatments for anxiety disorder, or when used in conjunction with other options?

Below are some things to know about Cognitive behavioral therapy in terms of being a treatment option for anxiety.

How It Works

A lot of people may perceive CBT as being something that lasts for years, but that’s not necessarily the case.

In fact, with many therapists who use CBT for the treatment of anxiety, the number of sessions is relatively minimal. The average number of sessions used for patients with anxiety is 16.

It’s also important to understand that your sessions are focused on being actionable and providing value in your real, everyday life. You learn practical solutions along with uncovering some of the reasons for your anxiety.

During CBT sessions you can also expect to get assignments from your therapist that will allow you to use what you’ve learned.

The Approach

A lot of people who tend to feel like CBT is the best option for them are individuals who like a practical and direct approach to dealing with their symptoms. CBT, as mentioned, is focused on the practical, and while you do uncover some of the root causes of anxiety during sessions, it’s not focused as much on the past as other forms of talk therapy.

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If you like the idea of logically dealing with your anxiety and you do believe that you have the ability to change certain outcomes, it can be a good fit for you.

Other Conditions

CBT tends to work well for people with anxiety, as well as phobias, PTSD, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, but if you have another mental health condition along with anxiety, it might not be the best option.

One example of people for whom CBT doesn’t work in most cases are individuals with severe depression. The reason is because CBT does require the participation of the patient in an active, engaged way, and if you have severe depression you may not be able to work as an active participant in your therapy.

Finally, if you’re weighing whether or not CBT is right for you, you might take the time to research potential therapists in an in-depth way, because the quality and experience level of the therapist can play a major role in how well it works for you. You may find that your past experiences with CBT haven’t been valuable to you if you’ve had them, but changing therapists can completely alter the results of this type of therapy since it’s highly dependent on the practitioner.