Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a technique used in psychology to treat a wide range of mental health conditions. It was originally designed to treat depression but its use-cases have extended to anxiety, marital problems, and eating disorders among others.
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When compared to other forms of therapy, CBT has shown high efficacy. According to Springer, CBT is the most effective form of therapy for those coping with anxiety and depression. Although CBT is often administered under the supervision of a therapist, many people don’t have access to professional help due to proximity, cost, time, and other limitations.
If you would love to try CBT but fall under the category of people who can’t access a CBT therapist, there’s a solution. Research has found that self-administered CBT can be highly effective. Several studies found that self-help therapy had a significant positive effect on anxiety and depression, especially when CBT techniques were used.
If you’re considering using self-directed CBT, the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies recommends a list of books. All the recommended books can be used by anyone to treat moderate forms of anxiety, depression, stress, and a range of other psychological disorders.
I concur with the use of CBT because it is straightforward and designed to target negative thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes, which are often the root cause of anxiety and depression.
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If you opt to use self-directed CBT, the following guidelines may be useful:
- Choose a book that you can work with: This depends on your personal style and taste. You may have to go through a few books until you find one that works for you. Also, ensure that the book you choose is based on solid research.
- Create time in your schedule for CBT practice: You would have to block out time in your calendar to practise CBT techniques if you want to see desirable results. Even if you don’t see a CBT therapist, treat each time you spend working with CBT techniques as you would if you were seeing a therapist.
- Be consistent but patient: Depending on the severity of your anxiety or depression, significant results may not come immediately. Try to practise consistently and remember there will be some bad days even when you practise CBT techniques. Stay motivated by remembering that CBT is not a quick fix but has produced significant results for those who stuck with it.
Self-directed psychological treatments have several advantages in a time in a period of high anxiety, growing depression rates, skyrocketing healthcare expenditures, and restricted mental-health insurance coverage. Completing a program that works for you can help you reduce your anxiety, enhance your mood, and empower you with skills that you can apply whenever you need them.
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