Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Overview

When it comes to mental and behavioral health treatment for women, a facility can use a myriad of therapies. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one that includes a range of strategies. Learning about it and its essential elements can help in understanding what to expect.

This type of talk therapy is a common one that mental health therapists use to help people become aware of distorted thinking. Knowing that they have negative thoughts, people in therapy can see difficult situations more clearly and develop more effective responses.

Because of how it works, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a helpful tool for treating behavioral and mental health issues. CBT can be beneficial for women with eating disorders, anxiety, depression, or even post-traumatic stress disorder. It can teach them how to manage stress better, too. Also, this counseling method uses a simple structure. As a result, most people show results in just a few sessions.

A woman laughs with her therapist during cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT

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The Impact of Negative Thoughts

The basis of this therapy model is that situations themselves don’t upset women. Rather, it’s the meaning that they give the situations. If they have negative thoughts, they can’t see that their perception doesn’t fit. They continue to have the same thoughts and fail to learn new things.

A depressed woman, for instance, might think when she wakes that she can’t face going to work. She might believe that she feels awful or that nothing will go right. If she stays home from work because of these thoughts, she won’t find out if her belief was wrong. Her thoughts may develop further and lead her to believe that she’s useless, weak and a failure.

These negative thoughts even trigger negative emotions and behaviors. In this case, they make the woman feel bad about herself. They also make her more likely to avoid going to work. This vicious circle can occur with other disorders as well and might begin a downward spiral.

Cognitive behavioral therapy helps women recognize this pattern. It teaches them to step away from those automatic negative thoughts and test them first. With the depressed woman, for example, it will encourage her to examine real-life situations to see what happens. The goal is to correct these distorted beliefs.


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Therapy Strategy Types

Mental health professionals use many specific approaches that fall under the greater CBT umbrella. However, the strategies that therapists use depend on women’s unique needs. In any case, the objective is to deal with underlying thoughts that affect mental distress.

Cognitive therapy focuses on identifying and modifying distorted thinking, behaviors and emotional responses. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) addresses how women think and behave. It incorporates mindfulness, emotion regulation, or other techniques.

Key Elements of Counseling Sessions

Since it has a structure, cognitive behavioral therapy doesn’t let the client freely talk about whatever they think at the time. The first session involves the therapist and client getting to know each other. The client describes her problems, and they work together to set treatment goals.

The remaining sessions follow a general structure that uses the time as efficiently as possible. This structure also ensures that the therapists don’t miss any important details. While the therapist controls the topics and discussions, in the beginning, the client gains more control as she progresses. By the end, this structure makes her feel empowered to keep improving herself.

Homework is another key element and an essential part of CBT. At the end of each session, the therapists assign the client activities to complete before the next session. It might involve keeping a diary of situations that provoke anxiety or depression. During the next session, they review the events together and learn how to cope with similar situations in the future.

Changing Women’s Lives at Magnolia Creek

Does your loved one have a mental or behavioral health disorder? You can get help at Magnolia Creek Treatment Center for Eating Disorders. We offer a range of services in a healing environment to promote personal growth in women. Some of our programs and services include:

Magnolia Creek’s dual diagnosis program includes help for several co-occurring mental health disorders. These include anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, personality disorders, self-injury, and trauma.

Don’t let an eating disorder or other mental health issue put you or your loved one’s future at risk. Get treatment that includes cognitive behavioral therapy. Reach out to Magnolia Creek for help today by calling 205-509-2441.

We are here to help you. Contact Us @ 205-409-4220 or send us an email.

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