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There are various approaches to treating mental health and behavioral problems such as depression, anxiety, and even substance abuse and addiction. While there are medicines and psychotherapy sessions that are known to effectively help a number of patients who undergo clinical treatments, cognitive therapy has been scientifically proven to be the most effective treatment for several mental health disorders.
Cognitive therapy involves the mental approach of dealing with problems as they happen in the present. Unlike traditional talk-therapy that delves into the past in search of causes that trigger a patient’s psychological issues, cognitive therapy focuses on letting patients identify their present thought patterns that usually translate to their negative emotions and counterproductive behaviors.
Simply put, cognitive therapy makes patients realize that their reaction to present situations triggers anxiety, depression, and other behavioral issues. It encourages people to change their perception of (and reaction to) certain situations to be able to think in a more balanced and emotionally stable way, behave differently, and generally feel better.
There are cognitive behavioral therapy exercises for anxiety and depression that can help anyone improve their mental health. Some of these cognitive behavioral therapy exercises need to be supervised by licensed therapists particularly for customized treatments that involve family therapy interventions, strategic family therapy, systemic family therapy, or for severe mental health and behavioral treatments requiring close professional monitoring.
In cognitive behavioral therapy, patients are given three C’s to follow: Catch, Check, and Change. Catch teaches how to identify the thought that precedes a person’s negative emotion. Oftentimes, there are automatic thoughts that trigger sadness or panic, so the second C is to Check the accuracy and usefulness of a particular thought. The third C encourages a person to Change the thought to be more accurate and helpful so that the emotion that will likely follow can be a positive one.
Here are some cognitive behavioral therapy tips that can be practiced by anybody who is undergoing psychological challenges or just about anyone who wants to improve their mental health:
- KEEP A JOURNAL
Make it a habit to write down your thoughts and feelings so that you will have an accessible reference in identifying your thought and mood patterns. This is a good exercise in doing the first C in cognitive behavioral therapy as you can easily Catch the thought that precedes a negative emotion when you have them all on record.
- TAKE ACTION TO FIND SOLUTIONS
When you find that a situation is triggering your panic attack or flooding you with a wave of debilitating sadness, learn to view it as a problem that has a solution. Instead of just folding up and letting the situation take control of you, rise up and take action by analyzing the problem and identifying the steps that will help you overcome it. Remember that a positive attitude can go a long way in easing the negative impact of most problems.
- BE MINDFUL AND FOCUS ON THE PRESENT
Practice meditation and learn the mindful approach to disconnecting from negative thoughts and emotions. Find the right relaxation and breathing exercises that work best for you so that you can teach your mind to stay in the present moment, assess the present situation, focus on what is causing the present problem, and mindfully identify the doable steps toward a possible solution.
These are just some of the cognitive behavioral therapy tips recommended by mental health professionals. Thousands of these clinicians from around the world are able to effectively focus on their patients’ mental health treatments with the help of the efficient EHR system of Zoobook Systems. With the Zoobook EHR, mental health and behavioral treatment facilities are able to fully digitize their clinical processes and even offer telemedicine or telehealth, which allow them to give remote treatment and monitor patient progress in real time from anywhere in the world.
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