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Preparing for Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

a person talks to a therapist about cognitive behavioral therapy preparation

Preparing for therapy can be scary. Therapy is a great way to improve an individual’s mental health and combat the symptoms of a mental disorder, but how is one supposed to know which type of therapy is best for them, and how are they to know what to do in preparation?

There is a staggering variety in the number of therapy treatments available in today’s world of medicine. While this variety is comforting, as its abundance suggests there is a treatment right for everyone, it can also be overwhelming. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most popular treatment methods in psychology. For those considering CBT programs in the Chester County, Pennsylvania region, consider the following tips and tricks on cognitive-behavioral therapy preparation from the team at New Horizons Recovery.

What Is CBT?

CBT is a form of psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, which combines cognitive therapy with behavioral therapy to create a treatment that actively challenges a person’s negative thoughts and irrational beliefs. Cognitive therapy approaches treatment by identifying harmful thought patterns that lead a person to create a distorted self-image, causing them to blame themselves or draw defeatist conclusions from certain situations.

Similarly, behavioral therapy focuses on identifying patterns that may cause or increase problems through behavior patterns. Behavioral therapy theorizes that all the behaviors a person exhibits are learned and can be unlearned and replaced with healthier habits. CBT theorizes that the way we think, the way we feel, and the way we behave are all connected and in a constant state of interaction.

Preparing for Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy preparation starts from the moment a person begins looking into treatment. There is an abundance of online resources and treatment programs available to anyone looking for them. Using the information in these sources is a great way to prepare and set expectations. When preparing for treatment, keep in mind the following questions:

  • What is the goal of the treatment?
  • What are the expectations of treatment?
  • What issues has this form of treatment been shown to improve?
  • How does someone keep themselves motivated during treatment?
  • What might interfere with treatment?
  • What are some strategies for preventing interference?

It is important to note that a person’s and therapist’s answers to these questions may differ, but that isn’t necessarily bad. In coming to terms with these differences, clients can develop a more realistic perspective on the benefits they might receive during treatment.

CBT Benefits

There are quite a few benefits that come with CBT treatment. One of the most widely reported, however, is reduced stress. Negative thought patterns and harmful behaviors can cause a great deal of unnecessary stress, as every situation a person encounters can cause anxiety and worsen the problems they may be experiencing. Destructive thoughts and irrational beliefs can create a distorted sense of reality, especially concerning a person’s self-esteem and self-image. CBT teaches clients to avoid overly negative conclusions and be less critical of themselves, decreasing stress and improving life. Other benefits of CBT include:

  • Better management of mental illness symptoms
  • Learning to set realistic goals
  • Learning to identify situations that cause stress, fear, and anxiety
  • Enhanced coping mechanisms
  • Dependable support systems
  • Conflict management

The best way to ensure that the full benefits of treatment are experienced is through cognitive-behavioral therapy preparation and expectation management. Before treatment, it might be helpful to speak with a healthcare professional to see what tips they can offer.

Preparing for CBT with the Help of New Horizons Recovery

The time leading up to therapy can be scary, regardless of the type of therapy received. No one wants to feel unprepared or that they’re wasting their time. That is why at New Horizons Recovery, located in Chester County, Pennsylvania, we welcome any questions our clients might have before or during treatment. We believe that transparency is key to creating trust with our clients and are always open to those with inquiries. For more information on cognitive-behavioral therapy preparation or to schedule an appointment today, contact us at 267.435.3134.