Auto DraftWhat does CBT work for?

CBT works to change our thoughts and behaviors, which in turn help to change our moods. Although it began with Depression, literally  100’s of clinical trials have shown VERY strong evidence for CBT as a highly effective treatment for the below-listed issues.

Summary

CBT works to change our thoughts and behaviors, which in turn help to change our moods. Although it began with Depression, literally  100’s of clinical trials have shown VERY strong evidence for CBT as a highly effective treatment for the below-listed issues.

Overview of CBT

Using CBT to change your brain-8CBT is based on Dr. Aaron Beck’s theory that our automatic thoughts about situations largely influence how we react – emotionally,  physically, and behaviorally. Sometimes those automatic thoughts are not exactly true, but we act as if they are. In CBT, people learn to be mindful in the moment and identify what’s true and what’s not. Usually, this results in significantly decreased distress.

Often when we behave in self-defeating patterns, automatic thoughts are fueled by automatic beliefs (about ourselves, others, & the world) that aren’t exactly true either. In CBT, when people modify their underlying beliefs (to be more accurate), they’re even able to change lifelong disturbing characteristic ways of behaving.

The goal is to teach people to learn how to identify, evaluate, and modify these patterns themselves. That’s why CBT can be relatively brief, compared to traditional therapies. People can learn to be their own best therapist.

CBT works for … 

Adults

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Agoraphobia and Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia
  • Dental Phobia
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Geriatric Anxiety
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Social Anxiety / Social Phobia
  • Withdrawal from Anti-Anxiety Medications
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Atypical sexual practices/sex offenders
  • Bipolar Disorder (in combination with medication)
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Caregiver distress
  • Depression
  • Geriatric Depression
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Dissociative Disorders
  • Eating Disorders
  • Anorexia
  • Binge-eating Disorder
  • Bulimia
  • Gambling (in combination with medication)
  • Habit disorders
  • Marital discord
  • Schizophrenia (in combination with medication)
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Somatization Disorder
  • Substance Abuse
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Cocaine abuse (CBT relapse prevention is effective)
  • Opiate dependence
  • Smoking cessation (Group CBT is effective, as well as CBT that has multiple treatment components in combination with relapse prevention)
  • Suicide attempts

Medically-related Issues

  • Asthma with Coexisting Panic Disorder (in combination with asthma education)
  • Cancer pain
  • Chronic back pain
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Chronic pain (CBT, in combination with physical therapy, is effective for chronic pain in many medical conditions)
  • Colitis
  • Erectile dysfunction (CBT is effective for reducing sexual anxiety and improving communication)
  • Fatigue and functional impairments among cancer survivors
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Geriatric sleep disorders
  • Gulf War Syndrome
  • Hypertension (CBT is effective as an adjunctive treatment)
  • Hypochondriasis, or the unsubstantiated belief that one has a serious medical condition
  • Infertility (anovulation)
  • Insomnia
  • Irritable-bowel syndrome
  • Migraine headaches
  • Non-cardiac chest pain
  • Obesity (CBT is effective in combination with hypnosis)
  • Pain with no known cause (Idiopathic pain)
  • Physical complaints not explained by a medical condition (Somatoform disorders)
  • Pre-menstrual syndrome
  • Rheumatic disease pain (CBT that has multiple treatment components is effective)
  • Sickle cell disease pain (CBT that has multiple treatment components is effective)
  • Sleep disorders
  • Somatization Disorder
  • Temporomandibular Disorder pain
  • Tinnitus
  • Vulvodynia

Children & Adolescents

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Avoidant disorder
  • Chronic pain
  • Conduct disorder (oppositional defiant disorder)
  • Depression (among adolescents and depressive symptoms among children)
  • Distress due to medical procedures (mainly for cancer)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Overanxious disorder
  • Phobias
  • Physical complaints not explained by a medical condition (Somatoform disorders)
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Recurrent abdominal pain
  • Separation anxiety

Other issues

  • Aging
  • Family therapy
  • Grief and loss
  • Group therapy
  • Low self-esteem
  • Psychiatric Inpatients
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Separation and Divorce
  • Stress
  • Work problems & procrastination

 

* Quoted from The Beck Institute  (http://www.beckinstitute.org/cognitive-therapy-can-treat/)

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How we change our brain - in minutesCBT changes your brain

Watch Anderson Cooper demonstrate neuroplasticity in action – how you can use your mind to change your brain – at the cellular level!

Summary

Watch Anderson Cooper demonstrate neuroplasticity in action – how you can use your mind to change your brain – at the cellular level!

A mindfulness practice changes your brain

 

Even healthy people repeat undesirable behavior. Many of us go through life on autopilot – just doing what comes naturally, despite the fact we keep hurting ourselves and others.

Neuroscientists tell us that the best way to ‘manage autopilot’ – the automatic parts of our brain – is to use our ‘wise’ minds. That is, we can apply a set of scientifically proven self-care strategies and skills to improve our lives.

One such self-care skill is mindfulness. Skills-based psychotherapy teaches you how to initiate and sustain this process over the long term. Watch how it works to change your brain – from autopilot to calm.

CBT changes your brain

If we have diabetes, we go to a specialist to learn how to ‘manage’ it – so it doesn’t manage us.

Just like physical illnesses, with the right kind of help, we can learn how to ‘manage our brains’ … for you-name-it brain chemistry problem.  Mental health is brain chemistry, which can be managed with our minds, using cognitive behavior therapy (CBT).  There is plenty of evidence that CBT actually changes our brain chemistry:

Toward smarter selection of therapy for psychiatric disorders

Does cognitive behavioral therapy change the brain? A systematic review of neuroimaging in anxiety disorders.

How psychotherapy changes the brain – the contribution of functional neuroimaging

(Below are scans of brains with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Depression, ADHD, as well as problems with Smoking, Alcohol, Obesity, & Cocaine.)  … 

OCD

“Current research into obsessive compulsive disorder focuses on a feedback loop involving three brain areas: the frontal lobe (prefrontal and frontal cortices), striatum and thalamus. The loop involves multiple circuits and signals that can stimulate or inhibit brain activity.”   See more about The OCD Loop: What may go wrong by Amy Ellis Nutt at the Washington Post.

 

How we change our brain - in minutes 4

 

How we change our brain - in minutes 3

In children with OCD, the brain’s arousal center, the anterior cingulate cortex, is ‘hijacked.’ This causes critical brain networks to stop working properly. Image adapted from Diwadkar VA, Burgess A, Hong E, Rix C, Arnold PD, Hanna GL, Rosenberg DR. Dysfunctional activation and brain network profiles in youth with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A focus on the dorsal anterior cingulate during working memory. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 2015; 9: 1-11., CC BY-SA

How we change our brain - in minutes 2

 

More about recent treatments for OCD

Depression

How we change our brain - in minutes 5

 

ADHD

How we change our brain - in minutes 6

 

Pain

How we change our brain - in minutes 7

 

Behavior

How we change our brain - in minutes 8

 

 

 

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CBT for Anxiety and DepressionCBT for Anxiety and Depression

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is the most extensively studied (and most effective) type of therapy for anxiety and depression.  Watch this video, by one of the foremost leaders in CBT, explaining how CBT works for both conditions.

Dennis Greenberger, PhD, addresses the differences and similarities between symptoms of anxiety and depression, how the disorders are treated with CBT, and what patients can expect in treatment.

Summary

Dennis Greenberger, PhD, addresses the differences and similarities between symptoms of anxiety and depression, how the disorders are treated with CBT, and what patients can expect in treatment.

How CBT treats Anxiety and Depression

This webinar is an educational presentation, offered by the ADAA (Anxiety & Depression Association of America), of which I am a member. I recommend beginning at minute “4” and after minute “39” there’s an optional Q & A period.

 

More Resources

I also belong to the Association for Behavioral & Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) which provides excellent CBT ‘Fact Sheets’ for Anxiety Disorders, including:

  • Panic Disorder
  • Social Phobia
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Specific Phobias
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

I highly recommend the CBT Fact Sheet for Depression as well.

 

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What is Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)What is Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)?

These videos give a quick overview of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

Summary

These videos give a quick overview of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

The Co-Founder explains ACT

 

Animations

 

 

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Fibromyalgia & IBSFibromyalgia & IBS

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is very commonly experienced by those with FM – due to their super sensitivity to pain. Here you will hear from experts on IBS as well as learn about self help method to take back lost parts of your life.

Summary

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is very commonly experienced by those with FM – due to their super sensitivity to pain. Here you will hear from experts on IBS as well as learn about self help method to take back lost parts of your life.

What is IBS?

IBS is a problem with the gut not working well. That’s why it’s called a functional disorder. There’s no tissue damage. So, having tests aren’t used to diagnose it. It’s like having a software (rather than a hardware) problem on a computer.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome 1Symptoms can include: chronic pain, gas, and bloating, diarrhea or constipation, … or both. People have a super sensitive stomach. It causes a great deal of stress … as well as being caused by stress (among other things).

For more details, I recommend listening to one of the best medical experts who also has a PhD in the new field of ‘Gut-Brain’ Gastroenterology. Dr. Geoff Hebbard answers questions in this Podcast: IBS and Functional Digestive Disorders related to:  differences between several GI diseases, belching, bloating, farting, gurgling, if constipation can be toxic, and much more.

How can CBT help?

Besides the physical distress of IBS, there’s the day-to-day stress of an unpredictable flare-up, the fear of not being close enough to a bathroom, or the embarrassment of an urgent exit. People can suffer an extraordinary loss in their quality of life, due to limiting or altogether avoiding enjoyable food, activities, and relationships.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for IBS is scientifically proven to help you take back the parts of your life that are lost. It’s a specific type of stress management, including 3 parts:

  1. Education about IBS and how stress relates to the intestinal tract
  2. Skill development for managing thoughts, feelings, and behavior patterns that can improve ‘function’
  3. Gradual re-entry back into more desirable patterns – to take back your life.

CBT using self-help works

Fortunately, for those who prefer self-help to going to a therapist, there’s an unusual book that’s actually been tested and proven to help people with IBS. I recommend Dr. Hunt’s book, Reclaim Your Life From IBS. I believe this user says it best … as did 26 other people!

Irritable Bowel Syndrome 25 stars Very useful book, easy to understand and implement in life

June 13, 2016

Verified Purchaser
I have read a few other books to improve my IBS symptoms. Books containing new diet plans and meditation techniques are all very useful. But the insight into the real problem I gained after reading this book is extremely helpful to me.
This book clearly explains how mental condition is related to the gut problems. I was always aware of this connection but the idea was not this clear to me. Living in a professional world full of deadlines and job duties, puts lots of pressure on human body and intestinal problems such as IBS are just one way the body is alarming about the mental issues. This book focuses on this aspect and tries to provide simple but strong techniques to block the route from outside stress to the body and intestine.
The book is very easy to read, no technicality,,,so my recommendation as a person with IBS symptoms is give it a read,,I am sure you will find it very useful!
26 people found this helpful

What does CBT look like?

For those who prefer trying CBT with a therapist, Dr. Hunt has also demonstrated (with a person playing someone with IBS) a segment of a typical therapy session. This clip gives you an excellent idea of what to expect. Pay attention to how frankly they collaborate and discuss the patient’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors as well as what the next step will be for the patient to try before her next visit.

Find a CBT therapist

Not all CBT therapists are trained to work with people with IBS. Be sure to ask therapists if this is one of their specialties. I recommend 3 different sources to search:

  1. The CBT Hub Directory (Glance at the Map to see if there are any in your area)
  2. The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Directory
  3. The Academy of Cognitive Therapy Directory

Participate in a study?

If you are an IBS patient, Dr. Hunt at the University of Pennsylvania is currently enrolling people in her study. It’s goal: Test which works better …  Reclaim Your Life From IBS versus The Complete Low FODMAP Diet. Contact the study coordinator at ibsselfhelp@gmail.com for more information.

Hypnotherapy

Since the 1980’s, Dr. Peter Whorwell BSc MB BS MD PhD FRCP, Professor of Medicine & Gastroenterology at the University of Manchester has become known for studies showing that hypnotherapy for IBS is another highly effective psychological treatment. More recently, his study published in 2018 showed that group hypnotherapy was no less effective than individual hypnotherapy – a step in reducing the cost!

Listen to Dr. Jim Kantidakis’ Podcast with Dr. Whorwell about hypnotherapy.

Find certified hypnosis professionals near you using the The Society of Psychological Hypnosis website. They list the professional organizations which will have directories.

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