What exactly is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, also known as CBT, is a branch of psychotherapy that gives people the skills and techniques to deal with emotional problems that are causing them psychological difficulty.

There are three aspects to the discipline:

  • Thinking – Cognitive
  • Doing – Behavioral
  • Treatment – Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – the Cognitive part

The cognitive part of CBT is all about your thinking.

And this means all the mental processes that go on inside you, not just your conscious thought processes.

So that includes things like your memory and how you code them as records of past events, with details of actions and attached meanings.

It also includes the images that you create in your mind, your conscious, deliberate thoughts, where you focus your attention at any one moment, your dreams and hopes and aspirations, your imaginations and even your fantasies.

Yes, everything that goes on in your head.

Understanding Anxiety and Anxiety Attacks

So what is anxiety? – well, anxiety is a set of physical feelings experienced by all of us from time to time in response to fear about possible unpleasant future outcomes. The physical feelings are those of the flight or fight response, which are caused by an increase in the body’s autonomic nervous system activity and adrenaline levels. In the following video, Alison Sommer talks about Anxiety Disorders and Panic Attacks at a TEDxCarletonCollege meeting:

Anxiety is a message that we send to ourselves, telling us to do something about the potential problem that might arise in the future. Unfortunately, many people do not take heed of the feelings and do something about the problem, or they may not actually be able to do anything. In this situation, the anxiety symptoms become chronic, recurrent and persistent, and they begin to affect the health of the person physically, psychologically and emotionally.

About Anxiety

There are a number of different types of anxiety disorder, each with its own characteristics. They are:

  1. Generalized anxiety disorder
  2. Panic disorder
  3. Phobia
  4. Post-traumatic stress disorder
  5. Social anxiety disorder
  6. Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Can CBT Help with Panic Attacks?

Have you been suffering from an anxiety disorder and not managed to find an effective remedy for panic attacks yet?

Are you getting sick and tired of all the supposed miracle anxiety cures that litter the Internet, promising everything and yet never delivering any real results?

Well, you are not the only one. See this interesting video about Overcoming Panic Attacks where Psychologist Dr. Becky Spelman (at a London-based Private Therapy Clinic) explains more:

All sorts of people experience a wide range of panic and anxiety disorders, from the broad category of generalized anxiety disorder to more specific ones like a social anxiety disorder. And, whilst some people manage to overcome their problems and move on with their lives, many get stuck in a declining cycle of increasing anxiety and a prison of their own thinking.

Are you like this?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapist Salary

Are you interested in knowing about the Cognitive Behavioral Therapist salary since you want to pursue a career in this professional track? Well, though Cognitive Behavioral Therapists are often not really visible, you have to understand the importance of their job.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapists help other people find more happiness, security, peace, fulfillment, and success. Often, this is the most important motivation for people to pursue a career in the world of psychology. And when they’ve done that, many people may ask themselves, what’s up next? What do you want to achieve and accomplish most? What sort of daily activities and practices will give you a sense of accomplishment and career satisfaction? What exactly are you looking for?

They use principles of psychology to understand a particular case. You will also have to undertake the responsibility of providing psychotherapy to patients and assess the people involved in the cases. As a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, you will, on an average, have to work some 40 hours a week. However, in critical cases, you may require to work overtime. So, are you really interested in pursuing a career in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy? If your answer is in the affirmative, you will first have to know how to become a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist and then know about the salary that you can expect.

Core Concepts of Psychopathology and Abnormal Behavior

The significance of context in understanding and defining abnormal behavior

Abnormal Behavior needs to be considered in the conditional perspectives in which it happens e.g heartache reaction or the emotional response in the effect of a fearful situation. Abnormal behavior will be more understandable when it is viewed in the context of life’s history and life events.

Demographic Context: age, gender, culture and class influence the definition, classification, explanation, and treatment.

The Continuum between normal and abnormal behavior

All human behavior happens along a continuum ranging from mild to severe (weight been lose in eating disorders). Abnormal behavior is an extension of normal behavior so all human responses happen on a scale.

Many types are overstated versions of normal behavior, feelings, thought, and emotions (e.g feeling slightly depressed and anxious in normal life). The exact difference between normal and abnormal behavior was never totally clear. There are particular standards which have been thought up to make a division between normal and abnormal behavior.

The Cognitive-Behavioral Model of Relaxation

Relaxation-induced cortisol changes within lunch breaks – an experimental longitudinal worksite field study

How do you spend your lunch break? Progressive muscle relaxation during your lunchtime routine could impact on your immediate levels of cortisol, as well as your levels of long-term chronic stress.

A recent study was set up to advance knowledge of how to maximize recovery during lunch break routines, based on the cognitive-behavioral model of relaxation. According to the authors, “optimizing the recovery impact of lunch breaks may be a promising path for solving problems of high stress and the resulting impact on performance, health, and quality of life”.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for ADHD Treatment

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an empirically-based psychotherapy used for the treatment of various childhood mental health disorders. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has attracted increased attention over the last two decades.

Research shows that ADHD is, in fact, a real disorder stemming from malfunctions with a person’s prefrontal lobe of the brain. While medication management is effective in treating certain symptoms of the disorder, the best results are seen with medication management plus cognitive behavioral therapy techniques.

ADHD Diagnosis in Children

ADHD is often diagnosed in childhood, though adults struggle with this disorder just the same. It is first important for the cognitive behavioral therapists to understand and express to the parents of a child with ADHD that it is a medical condition and largely beyond the control of the child. Parents often become frustrated and discouraged with their ADHD child, feeling as though they have tried everything to improve the child’s behavior to no avail.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Depressive Thoughts

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an empirically tested form of psychotherapy that has been shown to be effective in improving various mental health disorders, including anxiety, depression, and anger. Cognitive behavioral therapy and its components have progressed over the last 50 years or so.

One of the founders of the cognitive behavioral therapy model, Albert Ellis, was one of the first psychologists who recognized that thoughts or beliefs were directly related to his or her emotional experiences and behaviors. Albert Ellis developed a psychotherapy called Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), which is still commonly practiced in the field of psychology today.

Another front-runner in cognitive behavioral therapy was Aaron Beck, whose Cognitive Therapy model also involved focusing on the client’s thoughts as the route to their mental health dysfunction. Both Cognitive Therapy and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy are effective in treating depressive disorders.

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy for Anger Management

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy is a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is a type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) developed by psychologist Albert Ellis. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) has been shown to be an effective treatment in anger management.

Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is to not only define the trigger and emotional/behavioral consequence for one’s anger but to identify the irrational beliefs associated with the anger response.

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) emphasizes four categories of irrational beliefs that lead to an angry response. It is important for a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist (CBT) to teach his clients that it is not a specific trigger that causes anger, but once irrational interpretations of the trigger that lead to the anger response. It is important for a client involved in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to understand that one of the main goals of treatment is to change his beliefs, more so than the trigger itself.

Behavior Management and Parenting

Parents often seek out psychotherapy services to help remediate their children’s behavior problems. There is little evidence to support that play therapy alone is an effective treatment for childhood behavioral problems.

For childhood behavior problems to be effectively remediated, it is necessary for parents to be included in the treatment, if not be the sole participators in the psychotherapeutic process. Depending on the age of the child and symptoms, children may be included in very few sessions.

Parental Psychotherapy Intake

Parents first have an intaking session for psychotherapy. It is common during the intake for behavior therapists to see a parent explain her child’s behavior problems, and place the blame on the child for the behavior, and frequently fail to see how their own actions or passivity have contributed to these problems.