In the world of mental health treatments, there have been many innovations and developments. One of the said developments is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT. To this day, it’s one of the most popular and effective forms of treatment.
But what is CBT therapy? CBT is one of the many forms of psychotherapy, also known as “talk therapy.” During sessions, you’ll work with your therapist in a structured way as they give you exercises to work on.
It’s among the favorites when it comes to treating problems such as anxiety disorders, depression, substance use disorders, and personal issues, as many studies can attest to.
Ultimately, CBT aims to change your way of thinking– helping you become more aware of negative and inaccurate perceptions so you can see them more clearly and respond accordingly and effectively.
While CBT is a form of talk therapy, the various strategies applied is so much more than that. This article will talk about the different CBT therapy techniques, both common and ones you might not have heard of before.
9 Awesome CBT Therapy Techniques
- 1. Reframing
Maybe you overthink, give major importance to minor details, or assume the worst will happen. This negative way of thinking can affect how you live.
With reframing– also called cognitive restructuring– you’re going to take a hard look at your negative thought patterns. This technique is a great one for CBT therapy for anxiety.
In this exercise, you and your therapist will talk about your thought process in certain situations, allowing you to identify negative patterns. Now that you’re aware, you can begin to reframe and modify your thoughts into more productive and positive ones.
- 2. Exposure Therapy
This is ideal for confronting phobias and fears.
Here, your therapist slowly exposes you to triggers, things that can provoke your anxiety or fear. While exposed to the stimuli, your therapist will also guide you on how to cope with them.
Eventually, your phobias and fears won’t affect you as much, making you feel less vulnerable and more secure with your ability to cope.
- 3. Journaling
For the longest time, writing has been one of the best ways to understand and express your thoughts.
One study found that young adults who spent 15 minutes drawing or journaling twice in one week saw a considerable reduction in symptoms of mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, and hostility.
There aren’t really rules when it comes to journaling. But your therapist may ask you to list your thoughts that occurred between sessions. On top of the negatives, you can opt to write your positive thoughts instead.
You can also note the new thoughts and behaviors you’ve developed and practiced since the last session. This is a great way to track your progress and see how far you’ve come.
- 4. Successive Approximation
You may find it challenging to complete a task because you’re unfamiliar with it or just find it overwhelming. Successive approximation is an ideal activity for you.
It involves breaking down tasks into smaller and more achievable items where each step builds on the previous one. Doing this gains you more confidence as you continue to do it.
- 5. Mindfulness Practice
Borrowed from Buddhism, mindfulness aims to help you refrain from overthinking or obsessing about negative things and instead put that attention to the present.
Although it’s only been recently accepted in psychology, what little research there is on mindfulness shows that it’s effective in improving emotion regulation, concentration, and even pain management.
- 6. The SOLVED Technique
Although there are variations on this strategy and what it’s called, the SOLVED technique basically aims to develop your problem-solving skills.
S – Select the problem you want to solve.
O – Open your mind to solutions. Brainstorm and work on options with your therapist.
L – List the pros and cons of each solution.
V – Verify and decide on the best options. Are they practical or desirable?
E – Enact the plan.
D – Decide if the plan was a success.
- 7. Role-Playing
Essentially, role-playing lets you act out possible scenarios and help you work out how to respond. The goal here is to lessen the fear and anxiety you may feel in these situations, similar to exposure therapy.
- 8. The “Pie” Technique
With a simple pie chart, this technique allows you to visualize your ideas and goals on a graph. Additionally, this helps you set goals and take accountability and responsibility for outcomes.
- 9. Activity Scheduling Or Behavior Activation
When people face problems, pleasurable activities are among the first things they let go of. Consequently, cutting these off deteriorates your mental health even more.
Behavior activation is a simple yet effective and powerful strategy. Its goal is to increase positive and productive behaviors and activities you should do more often.
This is a more structured and concrete way of working pleasurable activities back into your life. Identify and schedule the things you want to do and find joy in. Rather than just saying you want to do more walking, meditating, or reading, schedule it. This ensures that you actually get it done.
Activity scheduling is particularly helpful to those struggling with depression who don’t engage in such activities.
Everyone needs a healthy way to cope with all the problems and stresses of the world. That’s why therapy is a necessity nowadays. For many, CBT is the way to go because it not only helps treat different disorders but has many techniques for everyone. With the right CBT treatment plan, you can start your recovery and get back to living life fully.
On your road to recovery, consider CBT therapy and choose Roots TMS. Start your healing journey with people equipped with skill and compassion to help you. You can visit us at 3939 Atlantic Ave Suite 102, Long Beach, CA 90807, United States. You may also contact us at 562-203-0567 or go to our website rootstms.wpengine.com.