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The Art of Therapy: What Different Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Techniques Can Do for You

Medically reviewed by Janie-Vi Villamor Ismael-Gorospe, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Apr 21, 2022

    The Art of Therapy: What Different Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Techniques Can Do for You

    Every single person has burdens of their own. When life gets tough, people may seek help from medical practitioners like therapists and psychologists to help them deal with things. While therapy can help you improve your quality of life, there are different cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to choose from. Which one suits you best? Learn more below. 

    What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a common type of psychotherapy (talk therapy) that follows a certain structure to achieve specific goals for the patient. 

    It is a form of psychological treatment that combines two approaches — cognitive therapy and behavior therapy — in order to examine your thoughts, actions, and emotions.

    Throughout a number of therapy sessions, a mental health counselor guides you in the process of knowing and understanding the things happening in your life. This is done in order to help you navigate through situations in life and develop ways to cope with them. 

    There is a significant number of research studies that suggest that CBT greatly improves functioning and the quality of life.

    Uses of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Techniques

    Cognitive behavioral therapy techniques are typically used by counselors to address or manage mental health illnesses and emotional issues. 

    A few of its known uses are it: 

    • Helps manage signs and  symptoms of mental illness
    • Prevents relapse of these symptoms
    • Serves as an option to treat mental illnesses that are difficult to treat with medications only
    • Provides different coping techniques for different stressful life situations
    • Helps identify ways to control and manage one’s emotions
    • Resolves internal and personal conflicts in relationships through better ways of communication
    • Helps out with grief or loss
    • Aids in overcoming the emotional trauma from abuse or violence

    CBT improves different mental health disorders such as, but not limited to, the following:

    • Anxiety disorders
    • Depression
    • Different phobias
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
    • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
    • Schizophrenia
    • Borderline personality disorder
    • Panic disorder
    • Sleep disorders (insomnia)
    • Eating disorders (bulimia, anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder)
    • Substance abuse disorders
    • Bipolar disorders
    • Sexual disorders

    Cognitive behavioral therapy techniques work best when combined with other prescribed treatments and medications.

    How Do Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Techniques Work?

    CBT is typically thought of as a short-term therapy, with sessions ranging from 5 to 20, depending on how many sessions the patient needs. This includes the consideration of the following factors:

    • Type of disorder or situation
    • Severity of symptoms (and how long the patient has already been dealing with them)
    • Progress after several sessions
    • Amount of stress being experienced
    • How much support a person gets from the people around him or her

    The following steps are usually incorporated in different CBT techniques and practices:

    • Identification of troubling situations in a person’s life 
    • Awareness of one’s thoughts emotions, and beliefs about the problems
    • Identification of the negative or inappropriate way of thinking
    • Understanding how to reshape this way of thinking

    Different Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Techniques

    Exposure Therapy

    Exposure therapy, a type of cognitive behavioral therapy, is a method that lessens the instances of fear and anxiety responses. 

    During therapy, a patient receives regular exposure to a circumstance or object they are afraid of. This is done in order to become less sensitive as time goes by. Obsessive-compulsive disorder and phobias have been shown to benefit from this form of therapy.

    Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

    This technique develops acceptance and mindfulness (living in the now and experiencing things without judgment), as well as commitment and behavior change as strategies to manage  undesired thoughts, feelings, and sensations.

    ACT teaches people how to accept their experiences, put them in context, clarify their own beliefs, and devote themselves to essential behavior changes.

    Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

    Dialectical behavioral therapy, or DBT, blends acceptance and transformation by combining cognitive-behavioral treatments with notions from Eastern meditation. 

    Individual and group therapy in DBT can teach mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, stress management, and emotion regulation skills.

    Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)

    Interpersonal therapy, or IPT, is a short-term supportive psychotherapy that tackles interpersonal conflicts in adults, adolescents, and older individuals suffering from depression. 

    It normally consists of 12 to 16 weekly one-hour sessions. The first few sessions are critical to obtain information on a person’s depression and interpersonal experiences.

    Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

    Eye movements appear to diminish the severity of unsettling thoughts in some situations. EMDR is a treatment that appears to have a direct effect on how the brain processes information. It essentially allows a person to view painful content in a less distressing manner.

    Key Takeaways

    Cognitive behavioral therapy techniques are useful tools that can assist you in becoming aware of your way of thinking. That way, you may better understand and respond to difficult situations. 
    Do not be afraid to seek medical help and assistance from therapy should you need it in your life. And as with all therapies, individualized programs works best with proper medical advice and assistance.

    Learn more about how to have a Healthy Mind here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Janie-Vi Villamor Ismael-Gorospe, MD

    General Practitioner

    Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Apr 21, 2022

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