Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidence based treatment that is able to address problematic emotions, behaviors and thoughts by analyzing patterns, suggesting change and bringing about solutions. Developed in the 1960s, CBT is commonly used to help people devise new ways of behaving by changing their thought pattern and mindset.
Psychotherapy or talk therapy is touted as an effective treatment when used in tandem with other treatments for mental health. Interestingly, cognitive behavioral therapy is considered the gold standard for talk therapy. As a result, it is endorsed by several reputed organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institute of Mental Health.
Effectiveness of CBT
When we talk of CBT’s efficacy, research has a lot to say in comparison to alternative treatments. CBT has proven to be a considerable 50%-75% effective in treating and overcoming depression and anxiety. This holds especially true when you consider its helpfulness against medication. While medicine is mandatory in some cases, its long-term effects are still under deliberation.
The table below will conduct a comparison of various treatments in treating anxiety.
As evident, CBT outperforms alternative treatments, making it a viable curse of action in the treatment of several other mental health conditions, especially those pertaining to women.
How Does CBT Work?
While some people believe that CBT is a complex form of treatment, the steps involved lead to results pretty soon. The first step is to analyze your problem areas with your therapist. This can be anything, from experiencing panic attacks to feeling overtly angry or anxious. Many people can have more than one issue but closely working with your therapist to identify which problems to address first can help make the treatment plan easier.
The next step is awareness. Once you have identified your issues with your therapist, they will work with you to organize your thought patterns about said issues. This step will be prompted by your therapist, who will ask you to communicate your thoughts and feelings. The therapist will then examine your self-talk to understand how and what you feel.
Once your therapist knows your thought process, they will work with you recognize and eliminate any negative patterns you have established in your mind. Since our mind is the most powerful tool, it can be re-trained to think positively and adopt and accept new, more conducive feelings and thoughts.
How Can CBT Help Women?
Since its discovery, CBT has immense scope in dealing with mental health disorders. This is why the efficacy of CBT has also been tested, especially in the realm of women’s mental health. It has been used to treat several mental health conditions that commonly inflict women. Let’s analyze these in detail.
CBT to Treat Depression During Pregnancy
Depressive symptoms are common during pregnancy. Despite these high rates, there is a limitation on the number of effective treatments available. However, recently, CBT appeared to be an effective course of action for women who are battling anxiety and depression during pregnancy.
A 2015 study evaluated and asserted the effectiveness of CBT and stated that it can actually help to reduce depressive signs and symptoms during both prenatal and postnatal periods. Studies also claimed that women who received CBT treatment during pregnancy were less likely to experience postpartum depression.
This treatment is especially more effective for pregnant women who were worried about psychotropic medications and breast milk transmission.
CBT to Treat Depression in Menopausal Women
The time that leads up to menopause, the perimenopause, is an emotional rollercoaster for women. They go through several hormonal changes and accompanying symptoms like hot flashes, mood fluctuations and depression. Experts also state that women are more prone to depression during hormonal changes like perimenopause, puberty and pregnancy.
CBT has scope in treating depression that follows perimenopause. During this time, CBT has surfaced as a useful treatment as it is a non-invasive way of helping women cope with their fluctuating emotions, thoughts and feelings. Studies show that CBT is a proven effective way to reduce depression among menopausal women.
CBT to Treat Eating Disorders
An eating disorder is a mental illness that can have devastating physical effects. Most eating disorders are characterized by extreme changes in eating patterns, either anorexia or severe binge eating. Research shows that 1.0% to 4.2% of women suffer from anorexia in their lifetime.
This problem is escalated as eating disorders like these are often accompanied by another psychiatric disorder. At least half of the women who were diagnosed with an eating disorder also showed signs of depression. This is why it is especially important to deal with these problems through psychiatric help.
The reason why CBT is so effective in dealing with eating disorders is that it affects the way women think, or rather, are taught to think. In today’s day and age, women are confined to unrealistic body expectations as a result of size zero models on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
CBT helps uncover these unhealthy thinking patterns and replace them with healthier, more realistic thinking patterns that ultimately change the way women think and behave.
Therapy Mental Health Near Me
If you’re looking for mental health facilities in your area, The Wave Clearwater is the place to get started. As an all-women facility, we provide specialized CBT treatment for women dealing with a variety of mental health issues like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, menopausal depression and postpartum depression.
Our residential treatment program is a safe, all-women environment that is able to rid you from your external pressures. With our female therapists who have extensive experience dealing with women from all walks of life, you’ll find it easier to share your thoughts and feelings and tread the path to healing with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).