Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a kind of psychological therapy used for many different mental health conditions. It can be customized based on your needs.
A lot of research has gone into CBT, and most studies conclude that it is a highly effective therapy. Aside from mental disorders, CBT is also used in rehab to treat substance abuse and its effects.
What is CBT and what does it do?
CBT helps you explore your patterns of thinking and behavior in different situations. The technique also looks at how these patterns influence your emotions. That way, you can discover why you behave in certain ways. Later on, CBT will also give you the skills you need to overcome negative emotions, thoughts, and behaviors on your own.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you have a case of social anxiety. With that, you often avoid gatherings and parties, preferring to stay at home by yourself. You want to overcome this, so you go through CBT.
Your therapist would then let you know how your fear of social situations is not rational. Then, you and your therapist will come up with a plan to get you to relax when you’re in those situations. With that knowledge, you can then be more confident to join your friends in gatherings.
In the next session, you and your therapist will take a look at how you did. You’ll look at what worked and what didn’t work. You will then change the things that didn’t work so you can do better next time. This process would continue until you become comfortable in social situations.
Here is one important concept in CBT: How we perceive events affects how we deal with them and how we feel about them.
In the first session, your therapist assesses your situation. Here, you can share your problems to your therapist, as well as what you hope to achieve from the treatment.
After this assessment, your therapist will tell you how many sessions you would need to get your desired outcome. Typically, 8 to 14 sessions of CBT are needed, but it can be more or fewer depending on your needs.
As with any kind of psychotherapy, CBT will cost you money.
How much do I have to pay for CBT?
In private clinics, CBT can cost as much as $200 per session. Some clinics charge even more than that.
There are some community clinics, though, that offer CBT either for free or on a sliding scale. So, if you’re on a tight budget, you can still find places to get CBT at rates you can afford.
The cost of treatment would also vary depending on how many sessions you need to go through. The more sessions, the costlier it gets.
Does insurance cover CBT?
It depends on your insurance provider. If they cover psychotherapy or mental health treatments, you won’t have to pay much out of your own pocket. Some insurance providers even cover the entire cost of CBT. Check with your provider first to know your coverage.
Take note, though, that not all insurance providers cover CBT and other psychotherapies. If that’s the case with your provider, you need to find other ways to finance your therapy.
Is CBT cheaper than other therapies?
Generally, you will spend less time in CBT than in other psychotherapies. With that, CBT can cost you less in the long run. It’s not cheap by any means, but the total cost will not be as high compared to other treatment methods.
What conditions are treated with CBT?
CBT is suitable for many psychological issues, including:
- Self-esteem issues
- Relationship problems
Any issue that involves thoughts and behaviors is covered by CBT. It approaches each condition differently as well.
How long does CBT last?
The good thing about CBT is it aims to eliminate the symptoms of your mental health condition as fast as possible. Though if you have many issues to work with, you’ll have to spend more time in therapy.
Some people can have success in CBT in only a few weeks. Others who need more time can achieve what they need in a few months. Commonly, patients get the results they need anywhere between 12 and 20 weeks of sessions.
If you’re wondering how long each session lasts, it’s 30 minutes to an hour. Sessions can be done weekly or every two weeks, depending on your availability.
Do I have to go to a clinic for CBT sessions?
Most CBT practitioners hold sessions in their clinics. But in some cases, you can also request therapy sessions to be held in your home. In particular, home service is ideal if you have conditions like OCD or agoraphobia.
Are there CBT sessions held online?
Yes. There are therapists who hold their sessions online, and you can receive therapy right from the comfort of home. This is especially useful now, as Covid-19 still forces many people to stay home as much as possible.
You can even download apps that cater specifically to your mental health. Through these apps, you can also attend CBT sessions online, anywhere you may be.
Can CBT be combined with medications?
Yes, it can. In fact, many mental health professionals would recommend CBT along with medications for certain mental disorders like depression and anxiety.
Medications are not always necessary, though. Consult with your psychiatrist first if you need certain medications to help with your condition. Avoid self-medicating, as this may make your condition worse. Also, you may develop an addiction to those drugs.
How do I find a good therapist?
There are many CBT practitioners around, and you can find one that will fit your budget. Start by looking at websites like GoodTherapy or Psychology Today. There, you can search for different CBT practitioners, their locations, and how much they charge per session.
Each therapist works in a different way, so you can also pick which therapist you’re most comfortable with. Make sure it’s someone who can address your needs well.