Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that has proven to be very effective for people who suffer from mild to moderate depression. In cases of severe depression, it can also be helpful when combined with medication therapy.
What is CBT?
CBT is a course of therapy that focuses on identifying negative thinking and replacing those thoughts with a healthier way of seeing things.
Cognitive therapy begins with an awareness that you are having negative or harmful thoughts. This could be feelings of worthlessness or a tendency to blame yourself and obsess on bad things that have happened to you. Once these thoughts are identified, they are exchanged for more positive ones, leading to a positive change in attitude and behavior.
With practice, these positive actions can lead to healthier ways of thinking and an ease in depression symptoms. In some cases, it can help the patient avoid medication or other, harsher forms of therapy.
CBT can help you in many ways:
- Helps to manage the symptoms of depression
- Prevents relapse of major depressive disorders
- Provides support for medication therapy
- Gives you the tools to manage stressful and emotional situations
- Improves relationships through better communication
- Provides coping techniques for grief
- Helps overcome psychological effects of trauma and abuse
- Better management of chronic physical and mental symptoms
Does CBT really work?
Based on research conducted over the past three decades, CBT is considered the current gold standard in psychotherapy. This means that it is the best and most effective therapy currently available. Though there are many other potential avenues to explore in terms of treatment for depression, no other single type of psychotherapy has proven to be superior, especially for depression with co-occurring conditions like substance abuse or chronic pain.
Since CBT is a non-medication therapy, there are no side-effects to worry about. However, you may have to confront thoughts, situations, and experiences that you would prefer to avoid. This, in itself, can be emotionally taxing, but your therapist will work with you to minimize any risk.
Statistically, CBT is effective in treating depression in 50 to 75 percent of cases. Medication alone carries a similar success rate, but there are inherent risks with taking these drugs over the long-term, not the least of which is a high potential for relapse if the drugs are discontinued.
CBT has the lowest relapse rate over all other psychological treatments for depression and anxiety. This makes it a more sustainable approach, especially when combined with other forms of therapy.
Empirical support for CBT
Much research has been conducted to prove the case for CBT in treating depression. As a stand-alone therapy, it has helped many people overcome mild to moderate depression without medication.
When combined with medication and other interventions, CBT improves clinical outcomes for severe depression. It also improves the outlook for recovery from co-occurring conditions like chronic pain, substance abuse disorders, trauma, and PTSD.
No two patients are alike
Roots to Recovery uses CBT in conjunction with individualized treatment plans. We work closely with each of our patients to ensure they are receiving care that is tailored to their unique circumstances. Our ultimate goal is to help you heal and find your way back to a healthy, happy, and productive life.
Reach out today to learn more about CBT and how it can help.