Is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy a long-term or short-term treatment method

Mental health spelled with scrabbles. Photo by Total shape.

Is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy a long-term or short-term treatment method

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapeutic treatment that as been used to help individuals deal with various mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety.

While CBT can be effective in the short-term, many people wonder whether it is an appropriate long-term treatment approach. In this article, we will explore the evidence for both short-term and long-term CBT.

What is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy?

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on helping individuals understand and change their thoughts, beliefs, and behaviours to reduce psychological distress. It was developed by Dr Aaron Beck in the 1960s and has since become one of the most widely used forms of psychotherapy for treating mental health issues.

Types of CBT

CBT can take two main forms, including:

  • Cognitive therapy

Cognitive therapy focuses on helping individuals identify and change their thinking patterns in order to reduce distress. This type of CBT involves exploring the individual’s thoughts, beliefs, and assumptions about themselves and the world around them. The therapist will help the individual to recognise negative thought patterns and replace them with more helpful ones.

  • Behavioural therapy

Behavioural therapy involves helping the individual identify and change their behaviours to reduce distress. This type of CBT focuses on teaching the individual new skills, such as problem-solving, relaxation techniques, and assertiveness. The therapist will help the individual to practise these new skills in order to manage their psychological distress.

Is cognitive behaviour therapy a short-term or long-term treatment?

CBT is often used as a short-term treatment approach, and it can be very effective in helping individuals to understand and manage their mental health issues. It typically involves sessions that last for about one hour and are held once or twice per week.

During these sessions, the therapist will work with the individual to identify negative thought processes and behaviours that are contributing to their psychological distress. The therapist will then help the individual to develop new strategies for managing their thoughts and behaviours to reduce their distress.

However, it is also possible to use CBT as a long-term treatment approach. Some mental health issues, such as chronic depression or anxiety, may require more intensive and long-term treatment with CBT in order to effectively manage symptoms. In these cases, the frequency of the sessions may be increased and the duration of treatment may be several months or years.

What are the benefits of CBT?

CBT is a versatile and effective treatment option for many mental health issues, and some of its benefits include:

  • Building Essential Skills

CBT helps individuals to identify and change their thoughts, beliefs, and behaviours to reduce distress. This can help them build essential skills such as problem-solving, coping strategies, communication skills, and stress management.

  • Increasing self-awareness

CBT also helps individuals to become more aware of their feelings and how they respond to different situations. This can help them to recognise patterns of thoughts and behaviours that are contributing to their distress, and develop healthier strategies for managing their mental health.

  • Long-Lasting Effects

CBT is a type of therapy that focuses on teaching individuals new skills and helping them become aware of unhelpful thought processes and behaviours. This means that the effects of CBT can be long-lasting, as individuals learn to recognise and manage their mental health issues more effectively.

Are there any downsides to CBT to be aware of?

CBT can be an effective form of treatment for many mental health issues, but it does have some drawbacks.

  • Can take a while to see tesults

Though CBT can be very effective in helping individuals to manage their mental health issues, it can sometimes take a while for the results to become apparent. This is because CBT involves teaching individuals new skills and changing unhelpful thought patterns, which can take time.

  • Can be difficult to change habits

CBT also requires individuals to change their thought processes and behaviours, which can be challenging. This is especially true if the individual has been thinking and behaving in a certain way for a long time.

Final Thoughts

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy can be a short-term or long-term treatment option, depending on the mental health issue being treated. It is effective in helping individuals to identify and change their thought processes and behaviours in order to reduce their psychological distress. However, it can take some time to see results and changing habits can be difficult.

If you are looking to get started, why not seek out qualified mental health practitioners who are using talking therapy rooms to rent in your local area, so that you can explore the possibilities for working with the right professional for you?

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