The Role of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in Combatting Chronic Stress and Anxiety: A Detailed Analysis

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a type of psychotherapy that has been shown to help people with a variety of mental health problems. It is based on the idea that our thoughts, emotions and behaviour are connected. When our negative or unhealthy thoughts are changed the feelings that go with them change too, and we are able to behave more helpfully.

The first part of CBT is working with a Ballarat psychology to identify and challenge negative automatic thoughts – those that pop into our heads without us being aware of them. These are often inaccurate and unhelpful. CBT therapists use a variety of worksheets to guide clients through what is known as cognitive restructuring. The second part of CBT is behaviour therapy – a practical approach to changing habits, modifying responses and improving moods. There are many different variations of this approach – for example mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is a popular form that uses meditation and mindfulness techniques in conjunction with cognitive therapy, while Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) was the original version of CBT.

During a session with a CBT therapist the therapist will ask questions to gain a deeper understanding of your current situation. They will also encourage you to think about your own thinking patterns – what are you telling yourself? – and look at how this is contributing to your problem. They will use a number of techniques to help you with this, including questioning, exploring and disputing negative beliefs, challenging assumptions and analysing the structure of your thinking.

They will then work with you to develop practical strategies that you can practise in your everyday life. This can involve role-playing difficult social situations, using realistic self-talk to replace unhealthy or negative thoughts and implementing behavioral experiments that will help you to overcome your fears. It is important to realise that these changes can take time and will not happen overnight, but the goal is for you to become more in control of your thoughts and feelings – leading to healthier behaviours.

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In a large number of cases the goal is to find ways that you can cope with your problem without needing medication. However, if your symptoms are severe or persistent you and your Modern Medicine therapist may decide that it is best to discuss the possibility of medication together.

Research shows that CBT can be effective in a variety of conditions – ranging from depression and anxiety to phobias, eating disorders and even substance abuse. There is no one size fits all though, so your therapist will tailor the therapy to your individual needs. In some cases they may also incorporate elements of other psychological treatments such as schema therapy or family dynamics therapy to support you in your treatment. This will be discussed in your initial assessment appointment.