Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a relatively short-term, problem-oriented form of psychotherapy. According to the speed of the achieved results, it is one of the fastest psychotherapies. It focuses on very specific problems that the client comes with: if the client says that his problem is fear of public appearances or difficulties in communicating with the spouse, then specific work is being done. The role of homework is very important: between two meetings the client practices the techniques he learned in therapy because the goal is to make him independent as soon as possible. The client becomes the therapist for himself: this is probably the reason for the rapid action of therapy and long-term results. Psychotherapists know how to maintain improvement and continue to address possible new difficulties. For example, if a client comes to therapy for a panic attack, they will be able to apply the learned techniques to their difficulties with social anxiety if it occurs later in life.
It is a therapy that aims to change the way we think (and interpret things) and how we behave, all to feel better and function better in life. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can teach us how to change negative and unhealthy ways of thinking and behaving, all to experience more satisfaction and live a fulfilled life.
Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy is the most intensively researched form of psychotherapy today. Its effectiveness has been confirmed by a myriad of controlled studies comparing cognitive-behavioral therapy with other well-established treatments for depression and anxiety disorders, such as antidepressants (drugs for depression and anxiety) and other types of psychotherapy. These studies show that patients treated with cognitive-behavioral techniques progress rapidly and remain well for several years after initial recovery. The short-term successes of cognitive-behavioral therapy (comparison: before psychotherapy – immediately after psychotherapy) are equal to those achieved by medication or by combining medication with psychotherapy. However, in the long run, cognitive-behavioral therapy proved to be more effective, as the achieved results were maintained for 1-2 years after the end of therapy.
The undeniable effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy has been confirmed for several mental problems and disorders: depression, anxiety disorders (phobias, panic attacks, fear of social situations, fear of public appearances, test anxiety, obsessions, and compulsions, posttraumatic stress disorder, etc.), hypochondria or anxiety related to health, and other emotional or mood problems: excessive anger, guilt, shame, jealousy, etc. It is also effective for eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia), drug and alcohol addiction, personality disorders. Besides, cognitive-behavioral techniques are widely used outside the narrow category of mental disorders: they are very effective, for example, in helping people with low self-esteem and self-confidence, partner problems, improving communication skills, assertiveness (self-advocacy), career development, cognitive-behavioral training, and guidance).
If you have any of these problems, try to contact a therapist trained in CBT, if available.