The 6 Benefits Of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

The benefits of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Although Psychology is normally spoken of in the singular, the truth is that many approaches, strategies and work philosophies are grouped within this discipline.

Depending on the psychologist’s therapeutic model, it will focus more on behaviors, emotions, conscious thoughts or the subconscious; and will also determine whether you focus on the past or the present. In addition, each model offers therapeutic techniques specific to the approach.

In Spain, a predominant model, especially at an academic level, is cognitive-behavioral therapy. In this article We will see what this model consists of and what are the most notable benefits of cognitive-behavioral therapy..

What is the cognitive-behavioral model?

The cognitive-behavioral model is based on the idea that our thoughts, emotions and behaviors are related to each other, to such an extent that if we modify one, we can change the other. This therapy arises from the union of the cognitive and behavioral models, as its name indicates.

For its part, the behavioral model focuses on change problem behavior patterns. To do this, the patient is taught alternative behaviors that are more functional and healthy, and they are gradually introduced to complicated situations so that they put into practice what they have learned.

Regarding the cognitive model, its objective is recognize and modify automatic thoughts, cognitive distortions and negative cognitive beliefs or schemes. In this way, the therapy aims for the patient to think of rational alternatives to the negative interpretation he makes of events, to reduce his/her unpleasant emotions and launch effective response mechanisms.

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Therefore, cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on identifying and changing both the thoughts and behaviors that are contributing to the person’s psychological or emotional problem, with the ultimate goal of improving their mental health and quality of life. Emotions are not left aside, in fact, it is interpreted that we can only manage them through actions and thoughts, and that emotions are not controllable as such.

It has the characteristic of being a fairly structured therapy. It begins with an evaluation of a few sessions, carrying out what is known as functional behavior analysis. Afterwards, a treatment plan is created to meet specific therapeutic objectives that meet the patient’s needs, and thus solve her psychological problems.

6 benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy

Universities do not arbitrarily choose to teach this model in psychology degrees and master’s degrees, but it is a widely accepted therapy. Below, we tell you why and describe the benefits of cognitive-behavioral therapy.

1. It has scientific evidence

This model has many years of consolidated history, in which numerous investigations have been carried out to verify its effectiveness and form its structure. Not only is it known that its treatment works, but it is also one of the most effective therapies available..

In this way, it has structured methods and techniques, making it easier for therapists to learn. The most recognized and even “borrowed” by other models is cognitive restructuring, the jewel in the crown.

That it is scientifically validated also implies that a treatment is not made based on assumptions or impressions, but rather that the patient’s problem is efficiently evaluated, seeking specific criteria to establish the objectives and treatment plan. This facilitates the selection of the psychological technique and its effectiveness.

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2. Works great with most disorders

Part of the reason why cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most effective is that it treats a large number of disorders. Above all, its effectiveness has been proven in psychological disorders and problems related to emotions and mood (anxiety, depression, OCD, panic disorder…). These, in turn, are the problems that occur most frequently in the population. However, It does not have the same effectiveness as other models for certain more serious disorders, such as psychotic disorders..

3. It is not usually especially long

This therapy is a shorter alternative to some models such as psychoanalysis or humanism. Cognitive-behavioral therapy usually lasts between 10 and 20 sessions, which means helping patients solve their problems in a few months and with less financial expense. This is due to extensive scientific background that has allowed it to develop and improve its effectiveness.

However, although this is the most common, this does not mean that it is always the case. The number of sessions the patient receives depends on many factors, regardless of the model, such as the severity of the problem, the patient’s involvement in their own recovery, the skills of the therapist… Some people may have been treated with this model for years ( just as it would happen with any other).

4. It focuses on the problem here and now

Cognitive-behavioral therapy treats specific and real problems that the patient has in the present, providing them with new learning and techniques that they can use to solve them. We only intervene in problems with which the patient agrees. without forcing you to deal with issues that you do not consider relevant or prefer not to touch.

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This model takes into account events from the past that may have influenced or determined the cognitive schemes, learned behaviors and habits of the person, but it focuses on what can be solved, and the past, no matter how much it weighs on us, we cannot change. This is one of the reasons why the therapy is shorter.

5. At the same time it prevents future problems

In addition to focusing on the present, it also focuses on the future. Cognitive-behavioral therapy seeks to resolve the bases of common problems and patterns so that they do not appear in the same situations in the future. So The independence of the person from the treatment is guaranteed, so that they do not have to be in therapy for life.

To achieve this, this model provides numerous techniques, skills and learning that allow the patient to face situations in an adaptive way. Some examples are social skills, communication, motivation techniques, relaxation techniques, emotional management, etc.

6. It adapts to the person

Despite being a structured therapy, it seeks to adapt to patients from the beginning, so each treatment plan is unique. In this sense, the opinion of the patients is counted on to establish therapeutic objectives and when they are assigned activities to incorporate the learning in therapy into their lives. In addition, their characteristics, difficulties, facilities and previous abilities are taken into account, as well as their tastes if possible.