Have you visited a mental health counselor or therapist in the past? Maybe you and your therapist talked through some of your mental health struggles for an hour or so. If this sounds familiar, you’ve engaged in a form of treatment called talk therapy. Talk therapy is a common form of mental health treatment that is more complex than it seems. In fact, there are many strategies and clinical approaches to talk therapy. One of the most popular types of talk therapy is called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It’s an evidence-based treatment that encourages patients to challenge their negative patterns of thoughts, actions, behaviors, beliefs and attitudes. One survey found that in the U.S., nearly 69% of psychologists use CBT to treat their patients. It’s both an effective and popular treatment method for a number of mental health conditions. You can read more about it in the following sections.
What mental health disorders can CBT techniques treat?
Cognitive behavioral therapy can be used to treat many kinds of mental health disorders. It’s most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but it can be used to treat more than that, for example:
- Anxiety disorders — CBT is often used to treat anxiety disorders. These include generalized anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder and complicated grief.
- Mood disorders — It can be effective for treating mood disorders as well. These include bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and complicated grief.
- Personality disorders — Personality disorders have been treated using cognitive behavioral therapy. These include borderline, narcissistic, avoidant and histrionic personality disorders.
- Trauma-related disorders — For individuals with trauma-related disorders, CBT can help. These include post-traumatic stress disorder and self-harming behaviors.
- Substance use disorders — Substance use disorders like alcohol use and opioid use, just to name a few, may also respond positively to CBT.
- Other psychological issues — There are many types of disorders that CBT can treat. CBT is also helpful for generalized symptoms of mental health disorders. These include low self-esteem, poor sleep and poor mood.
How do CBT techniques help those with depression?
Cognitive behavioral therapy techniques can help people who have been diagnosed with depression, or major depressive disorder, in a few ways. It’s designed to challenge the thought processes and actions that a person with depression might experience. CBT aims to change a person’s negative feelings and thoughts. It turns them into positive thoughts that their actions will reflect. Not sure if you’re dealing with depression? You can take our self-assessment quiz here.
What are some examples of CBT techniques that can be used to help someone with depression?
CBT techniques can be used to help those who are struggling to manage their depression on their own. Wondering if you need therapy? Here’s how you can tell. During talk therapy, a psychologist who uses CBT might employ one or more of the following techniques:
- Thought journaling — One such CBT technique is called thought journaling. This involves writing down the thoughts and feelings you experience regularly. It can help you express your moods and build awareness of them.
- Cognitive restructuring — Another technique is called cognitive restructuring. It involves restructuring irrational or dysfunctional thought processes, called cognitive distortions.
- Fact-checking — Fact-checking can be another effective cognitive behavioral therapy technique. This technique involves analyzing thought patterns that may be irrational or emotionally based and mentally “fact-checking” them. It can help you identify and correct thoughts and behaviors that may be based more on emotional opinions than facts or reality.
- Meditation and mindfulness — Meditation and mindfulness are also CBT techniques. They redirect attention from negative thought patterns toward neutral thoughts. The goal is to help you feel present and grounded.
Active Path Mental Health can provide talk therapy to treat your depression
Major depressive disorder can negatively impact the quality of your life. It can affect nearly every aspect of your life, from your sleeping habits to how often you shower. Fortunately, talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy, can treat depressive symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of talk therapy that treats depression and anxiety. Are you struggling to manage your depression symptoms independently? We’d like to help. Our goal is to guide you toward active recovery and transformation.
Active Path Mental Health has locations in Oregon and Washington. Each one of our clinics can help you manage your depression symptoms.
Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.