Cognitive Therapy: Boosting Your Mental Health


Cognitive Therapy is an umbrella term for a variety of therapies that work to change the negative thought patterns and habits as well as behaviors that either create or worsen a person’s emotional or mental health. It was originally meant primarily for people with mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, because it focuses on how our thoughts can often make us feel worse about ourselves or cause more intense symptoms in the first place.

Cognitive Therapy commonly involves having a talk therapist help teach you skills to modify your thoughts so they are less intense- like stopping and counting to 10 when you feel yourself getting angry, trying not to catastrophize something small, or noticing your critical inner voices cheering you up if you say good things about yourself.

The way Cognitive Therapy works is that the therapist and patient work together for generally 15 to 45 minutes per week for a number of weeks. The main goal in addressing such things as depression or panic disorder is for the patient to become more aware of automatic negative thoughts, feelings, sensations, images or behaviours that take place when suffering from their condition. Patients are then asked how these may relate to stressful periods earlier in life or even how they might have begun without any external event taking place to trigger them.

What is Cognitive Therapy ?

Cognitive therapy (CT) is based on the cognitive model, stating that thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are interconnected and individuals can move towards overcoming difficulties and achieving their goals by identifying and modifying unhelpful or incorrect thinking, problematic behaviors, and upsetting emotional responses. In this article, we will talk about the application method and small details.

It is a psychotherapy method created by Aaron T. Beck in the 1960s. The effectiveness of Cognitive Therapy (CT) has been the subject of many scientific studies since its emergence. In most of the research, results have been found that CT is effective in a wide range of mental disorders. The term cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) was used after the 1990s. Also, CBT includes comprehensive theories of human behavior.

Cognitive therapy is a modern psychotherapy developed based on scientific findings in the field of psychology and psychopathology (mental illness), which emerged with the application of scientific principles to the field of psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is the general name given to the technique of solving mental illnesses or problems through verbal interaction (through interviews).

Cognitive therapy is based on the science of psychology data when explaining mental disorders and investigating their causes. Verbal and behavioral methods used in the solution of these disorders are also based on these scientific principles and learning theories. This treatment method’s effectiveness has been scientifically tested and has been shown to be effective in many mental illnesses through hundreds of clinical studies.

Treatment practices of cognitive therapy, which is basically different from other psychotherapies, are structured in terms of process and content. It focuses primarily on the person’s current problems, is more limited in time, and aims more to problem-solving. Cognitive therapy solves the applicants’ current problems and teaches a set of special skills that they can use to solve their problems throughout their lives. These skills are to detect distorted thoughts, change their beliefs, establish new relationships with the environment, and change behavior.

Cognitive Therapy Method

In Cognitive Therapy, the therapist firstly identifies the individual’s beliefs, moods, behaviors, and physical symptoms associated with psychological disorders. Later, by applying various Cognitive Therapy techniques, it conducts studies to change the individual’s beliefs associated with disorders. The change in beliefs causes changes in the behavior, mood and physical symptoms of the individual.

The most important point of the psychotherapy process in cognitive therapy is the therapist and the client’s collaboration. The therapist does not tell the client what to do or not to do. Or the psychotherapy process does not continue as a process where the client tells and relaxes himself. During the process, the therapist and the counselor work together, keep notes and move forward.

The work done in the session is supported by homework, and it is aimed to transfer the new skills learned to live outside the session. In this way, the client gains the necessary equipment to deal with future problems. In other words, the individual learns to be his own therapist.

Cognitive therapy is based on the cognitive model; if we want to express it, our way of perceiving events that affect our emotional responses is the main starting point of cognitive therapy. In other words, “We see things not as they are but as we are.” For example, when we read this booklet, we subject what we read to an evaluation and interpretation.

Suppose that a person reading these lines thinks, “very nice, the type of treatment I’m looking for,” that person will feel happy and enthusiastic. If another person has thought of reading what has been written up to here, though, it seems like “it looks good, but I can’t do it, I won’t work,” that person will feel pessimistic and reluctant.

Every person who reads these lines makes an evaluation and interpretation according to himself, and the resulting emotion and behavior are affected. In other words, the emotional response of the person is not directly influenced by the situation.

People cannot think clearly when they are under tension, and their thoughts begin to skew. Cognitive therapy helps people identify distressing thoughts and examine if these thoughts are realistic or not. When he learns to change the inappropriate thoughts and starts to be considered suitable for reality, the person feels better. Problem-solving and behavior change are the most discussed issues.

Last Updated on June 24, 2021 by Patric Johnson

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About Author

He is studying psychology in Canada. Lucas also volunteers helping elderly people in nursing homes. Lucas, who is especially interested in hypnotherapy, continues his education and research in this field.

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