Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is the core treatment modality provided at Sprout Heath Group. While CBT was initially designed by Beck to help clinicians manage depression among their patients, the therapeutic modality is now enjoying worldwide recognition as the preferred choice of treatment for a variety of mental disorders particularly depression, anxiety, and any other mental illness state that feature any form of the two. It is based on the premise that mental disorders are the result of a developed response (behavior) to a particular conditioned fear (cognition).
The CBT Model
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is both problem-focused and action-oriented. This means that CBT can be performed for specific mental health problems or behavioral issues. It also means that the role of the CBT therapist is to assist the individual to identify and choose the most effective and most appropriate strategies needed to help him address those problems. And since behavior is largely shaped by conscious thoughts, it is highly possible to effect some changes in certain aspects of behavior by modifying or changing the thought content. It is this connection between cognition and behavior which provides the basis for the implementation of the principles of the CBT model.
Negative thoughts or patterns of thinking can be the result of experiences in the real world including how self-image is developed and interactions with other individuals. In most cases, individuals with cognitive distortions often show overgeneralizations, pessimism, magnification, all-or-none thinking, what-if thinking, emotional reasoning, perfectionistic thinking, and jumping to conclusions.
CBT is currently the preferred choice of treatment for anxiety and depression as well as schizophrenia and substance abuse disorders. Anxiety-related disorders like sleep disorders, eating disorders, adjustment disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders, PTSD, and phobias also benefit from CBT. Bipolar disorders, personality disorders, and sexual disorders are also managed with CBT.
How Does it Work?
As a model of therapy, CBT has several components upon which all individuals will have to undergo. It should be understood that the goal of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is to change maladaptive patterns of thinking in order to effect changes in both affect and behavior. However, more modern CBT specialists tend to modify the basic premise of the CBT model by emphasizing the need to change one’s relationship to the patterns of maladaptive thinking instead of changing the thought itself. Whatever the case, the main point in a CBT is that maladaptive thoughts produce maladaptive emotions and behavior. Changing the maladaptive thought should therefore result in a change in behavior and emotions.
It is therefore crucial to perform a cognitive behavioral assessment of the individual. Here, critical behaviors will have to be identified and determined whether they are excesses or deficits. Each of the behaviors is evaluated for its frequency, intensity, and duration. If the behavior is deemed an excess, then the goal of therapy will be aimed at decreasing its frequency, intensity, or duration. If the behavior is a deficit, then the treatment program will focus on increasing the behavior.
Reconceptualization and skills acquisition are two fundamental components of CBT as these answer maladaptive thoughts and maladaptive behaviors, respectively. During reconceptualization, CBT therapists help the individual identify negative thoughts and replace them with more adaptive, more meaningful, and more positive adaptive thoughts. Skills acquisition is the behavioral counterpart of cognitive restructuring or reconceptualization. CBT allows the individual to learn new and more adaptive behavior to replace the maladaptive patterns of behavior.
When both reconceptualization and skills acquisition have been achieved, the individual is assisted in consolidating his newly-learned skills and applies them in real-life situations. The individual is also assisted into making generalizations about the possible use of newly-learned ideas and skills to other aspects of the individual’s life. This greatly reinforces the use of healthier cognition and more adaptive behaviors for almost every other life situation.
CBT at Sprout
Sprout Health Group firmly believes that the best way to ensure the success of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is to work closely with each client. Our teams of professional CBT specialists will be able to help individuals set realistic and highly achievable goals, develop an easy-to-follow therapeutic regimen or agenda, and actively participate in innovative cognitive and behavioral strategies.