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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