Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
Psychotherapy may involve a one-on-one interaction with a therapist. It may also involve group sessions that include the therapist and other people with similar issues.
Although there are many approaches, they all involve helping patients manage their thoughts, perceptions, and behavior. Psychotherapy is also a resource for finding healthy ways to deal with problems.
Usually, the core treatment for bipolar disorder is a combination of medication and psychotherapy. CBT is one of the more common types of psychotherapy.
CBT can be used in a number of ways, including:
- managing the symptoms of mental illnesses
- preventing behaviors which can result in a relapse into those symptoms
- learning effective coping techniques to help control emotions and stress
- acting as an alternative treatment when medications are ineffective or not an option
The primary goal of CBT is to help you gain a new outlook on your situation. It does this by directly challenging negative thoughts and fears and teaching you to control or get rid of them.
The therapy is generally short-term and directly focused on eliminating or managing specific problems. It involves contributions from you and the therapist.
During a CBT session, you and the therapist will work together to:
1. Determine the problem
This can be mental illness, work or relationship stress, or anything else that’s bothering you.
2. Examine the thoughts, behaviors, and emotions associated with these problems
Once the problems are identified, you will work with the therapist to begin looking at how you’re reacting to those problems.
3. Spot negative or inaccurate thoughts, behaviors, and emotions
There are a number of ways you can perceive or deal with an issue that actually worsens the problem. This can include thinking negatively about yourself, or focusing on the negative aspects of a situation or occurrence.
4. Change your reaction to personal issues
During a session, you and the therapist work together to replace these negative thoughts with more positive or constructive ones. These can include thinking positively about your ability to cope, and attempting to view a situation more objectively.
Cognitive behavioral therapy can be effective on nearly everyone in various situations.
Psychotherapy can be accessed in a number of settings, including hospitals and through private practices. CBT is one of the more common types of therapy. Many employers offer psychotherapy through their employee assistance programs.
There are no direct physical side effects to psychotherapy. However, if you decide to try CBT, you must be prepared to talk openly about your issues with a therapist or even a group of people. This can be discomforting and a difficult obstacle to overcome.
CBT is a popular treatment that can be applied to a wide range of issues, including the management of bipolar disorder. The treatment focuses on identifying your problems and your reactions to them. It then determines which of those reactions are unhealthy and replaces them with healthier alternatives.