As a leader in the field of mental health, Amen Clinics has treated an array of psychiatric conditions over the past 29 years and has amassed the world’s largest database of brain scans at 140,000 and growing. Though many people have come to know about us due to the remarkable results we’ve seen with brain SPECT imaging, we also offer a wide range of therapy options at the nationwide Amen Clinic locations. One of the brain health and wellness services we are excited to recommend is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most widely used practice for improving mental health. CBT is an evidence-based, action-oriented psychological treatment that focuses on the way people think (cognitive) and act (behavioral). CBT can help individuals cope with personal challenges by breaking them down into smaller areas to concentrate on. CBT addresses five fundamental areas:
• Physical feelings
CBT focuses on correcting negative thinking patterns and developing accurate, more positive thinking skills, which in turn can change your behavior and help boost your mood, motivation and determination. In head-to-head studies, taking fish oil, exercising, and CBT has been found to be as effective as medication.
How Does It Work?
CBT sessions can occur one-on-one or in groups. During the first session, a therapist will make sure the patient is comfortable and then ask a few questions pertaining to the patient’s background and current situation. Future sessions may focus on various aspects of what the patient is struggling with, breaking down the problem into manageable parts and implementing practical solutions or strategies (which may include homework) to address those concerns and improve the patient’s situation.
Who Does It Treat?
CBT can benefit a wide range of psychiatric and mental health conditions, including: ADD/ADHD, anxiety, anger, autism spectrum disorders, bipolar, depression, eating/weight issues, OCD/ODD, pain management, PTSD, sleep dysregulation, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and toxic exposure.
What Are the Benefits?
CBT can help you:
• Learn how to slow down and relax
• Change your beliefs about yourself
• Control anxious or negative thoughts
• Prevent addiction relapse
• Manage your anger
• Cope with grief and loss
• Deal with chronic pain
• Resolve relationship challenges
CBT and Insomnia
Research has shown that CBT can help to relieve the effects of insomnia. CBT-I therapy seeks to undo the notion that sleep requires effort or that it needs to be fixed. CBT-I teaches patients to:
• Establish a regular wake-up time and stick to it
• Get out of bed during waking periods
• Avoid eating, reading, watching TV or similar activities in bed
• Refrain from taking daytime naps
CBT and PTSD
CBT helps people identify, challenge, and modify automatic negative thoughts (ANTs) and abnormal mental scenarios. People learn how to identify cognitive distortions, find evidences for and against thoughts, create alternatives, and finally reappraise their beliefs about themselves and the trauma by creating a new narrative of the traumatic event. CBT not only helps to reduce symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder PTSD, but also reverses the underlying biology of the disorder within the brain. If you experience reoccurring stress from traumatic memories, CBT combined with a psychotherapeutic treatment technique called EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) may help.
How Many Sessions Are Recommended?
The number of sessions will be determined by the therapist. Sessions typically last either 30 or 60 minutes. For medication management, a 90-minute consult may be recommended.
Is it Safe?
CBT is non-invasive, has no side effects and is safe for people of all ages.
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