Cognitive behaviour therapy can be effective in the treatment of a range of psychological issues. Unlike other forms of psychotherapy, CBT focuses on present thoughts and beliefs rather than delving into the past to understand current feelings. How To Get Started with CBT? If you or someone you know is considering Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to cope with mental or physical health conditions, then take the following preliminary steps to get started:
Locate a Licensed Professional: You can consult your primary health physician or check out the online resources to find an experienced and certified psychotherapist / Cognitive Behavioural therapist like Poonam Dutta in your area.
Book an Appointment: Based on your personal preference and what works best for you, you can decide whether you want to have a face-to-face session or an online one. Check your Health Insurance Coverage: You should check if your health insurance covers CBT and how many sessions are permissible under insurance per year.
Complete Paperwork: In preparation for your CBT sessions, you will have to fill out some forms to share information, such as medical history, current medications, your current symptoms, and more.
Be Prepared to Answer Preliminary Questions: In your initial interaction, the therapist would like to know more about you, what made you seek this therapy, and your history, including your childhood, education, career, relationships with family, friends, and significant other, and current living conditions.
Discuss Length of Therapy: CBT is generally a short-term therapy with the length of the course ranging from five to twenty sessions, with each session lasting 30 to 60 minutes.
Usually, you will have a session with your therapist once a week or once every two weeks. Your therapist will consider the following factors to decide the number of sessions that may be right for you:
Type of your disorder or health condition
TheThe severity of your symptoms Since how long the symptoms are in existence.
Level of stress you have been experiencing.
Speed of your progress.
Level of support you receive from family and others.
How CBT Works?
Breaking the Problems: During your CBT sessions, you will work with your therapist with a collaborative approach. The therapist will help you break down your problems into separate parts, such as thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Identifying Unwanted Thoughts: In the next step, you and your therapist will introspect and analyse each of these areas to identify whether they are unrealistic or unhelpful and to determine the effect they have on you.
Changing Thoughts and Behaviours: Once clear, your therapist can help you learn how to change your unwanted thoughts and behaviours. To help you overcome your unwanted thoughts, the therapist can use many strategies and techniques, such as relaxation techniques, role-playing, journaling, mental distractions, and more.
Implementing and Practising Skills: The ultimate aim of CBT is to teach you how to apply coping skills and problem-solving skills you have learned during the sessions to your day-to-day life. So, after identifying what thoughts and behaviours you can change, your therapist will advise you to practise those changes in your daily life. In the subsequent session, you will discuss how you got on to making those changes and how you have been rehearsing them.
Goal-Setting for Recovery: Goal setting is a vital step in helping you make changes to improve your situation and recover from your mental illness. The CBT therapist can help you with goal-setting skills by teaching you how to:
identify your goals
distinguish between short-term and long-term goals
set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based) goals
focus on the process as well as the outcome
Self-Monitoring: Self-monitoring is a critical step in CBT. It involves keeping track of your symptoms, behaviours, or experiences over time and sharing them with your therapist so they can provide the best treatment. The coping skills learned during the sessions should help you self-manage your problems and stop them from creating a negative impact on your life, even after your therapy is over.
If you are experiencing any mental health issues and need help, then consider CBT. A qualified professional and CBT therapist like Poonam Dutta can help you overcome your life’s challenges. Poonam is an experienced psychologist and licensed counsellor who can help you cope with your difficult situation and live a happy and contented life. Contact Poonam Dutta or call her at +91-8830824402 to schedule a consultation today!