Cognitive therapy allows for individuals to focus on what it is that is causing them so much distress and to identify and evaluate, in a realistic way, how they can change the way they think in order to lead a better life. Changing behavior and problem-solving are two of the characteristics of this type of therapy.
While conventional psychotherapy involves a long and tedious discussion about one’s past that led up to a specific disorder, this therapy affords the individual the opportunity to reflect and improve on his or her own present goals, while seeking to improve those skills that need improvement, as well as those that can be tweaked to obtain maximum balance within.
Many psychologists may operate in a similar fashion. Whether you are suffering from depression and/or anxiety, their concern is what is going on now – that is, what event or circumstance brought you to the current angst you are feeling at this moment.
From there, you may be asked what areas in your life you wish to improve upon; and document each session so that a time-line of events can be discussed each week to determine what areas of improvement can be changed or altered.
More importantly, this therapy involves you and the therapist working together to resolve issues and is not a one-sided exchange wherein you talk your heart out and he or she just listens and takes notes. Since most therapy sessions with a psychiatrist can last several months or years, depending upon the root cause; cognitive therapy is specifically designed so that each individual may only need to see a therapist for a shorter period of time because the goals are set for that individual at the outset. Depending upon how well the individual has met those goals determines the duration of the sessions.
There is no doubt as to the effectiveness of this kind of therapy. It is effective even in extreme cases, such as anorexia. For more information, please visit Anorexia-Say-No. Here you will find a stunning story of a woman, who through the use of CT, was able to recover from the nightmare that is anorexia.
The key to successful therapy sessions lies within the individual who, after given a set of goals and utilizing the tools to obtain those goals on a daily basis, finds the symptoms begin to dissipate and begin to feel quite confident they can deal with any given situation.
For information on group therapy, read my article on Group Cognitive Therapy.