A few years ago, it was easy to get a pill for almost any condition, even conditions not fully explored or properly diagnosed. Doctors were perhaps too keen; patients were persuasive.
Today, a growing anti-drug attitude sees doctors and their patients adopting a different approach to treatment for everything from chronic mental illness to situational stress. One such approach is to sign up for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Psychotherapy or Talk Therapy can take several forms, one of which is CBT. Patient and mental health experts talk about what is going on. What is this person experiencing? How does she cope with issues, or starting from the issue, where does this appear to stem from?
The issue could be an eating disorder such as anorexia or over-eating. It might be a phobia about spiders or water. One might be trying to cope with intrusive thoughts caused by depression or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following an accident or years of abuse.
Illnesses and conditions are sometimes caused by an event; sometimes by genetics. A psychiatrist can get to the bottom of that during sessions with the client. The ideal goal is to teach one how to cope with stressors of all kinds, be they physical or emotional.
Advantages of CBT
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy does not require the use of drugs. One can continue taking medication as prescribed by a doctor or in tandem with talk therapy, but CBT is often an alternative to the use of medicines.
This is very helpful if one is allergic to certain medications, has found them ineffective, or is a recovering addict trying to avoid them. An instance would be if someone was recovering from injury and learning to cope with pain but has also become addicted to OxyContin, CBT could be the answer to pain management without chemical support.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy gets to the bottom of issues quickly. People who undergo this form of therapy often discover they are onto an answer and feeling better about their lives rapidly compared with waiting 2 weeks for a medication to kick in.
Disadvantages of CBT
There are few of them, one potential being the cost. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy might not be covered under insurance while prescribed medications might be free or partially free if the client is insured through work or a private plan.
Determining who is the right person to undertake CBT is a challenge. Patients must choose someone they can work with; the right fit. They must also ensure that the professional they hire is, in fact, trained, certified, licensed, and experienced.
If there are issues of personal philosophy or spiritual beliefs in the mix, one might need to determine if a counselor will respect those beliefs.
Where to Find Psychiatrists Practicing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Numerous mental health clinicians practice this type of treatment out of private offices. They provide credentials and a fee schedule, probably an hourly rate. There are also clinicians hired to work as part of programs such as addiction treatment.
These individuals supply services alongside group therapy and other forms of counseling, often when a client enrolls as an in-patient with co-existing disorders such as depression and drug addiction, alcoholism and bipolar disorder, or PTSD and addiction to meth.
Drugs are not the long-term answer to any illness, even prescribing medication taken responsibly. Most health care advisors would recommend at least pairing mental health treatment such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with prescription drugs, but many would also be comfortable suggesting that a patient rely on psychotherapy alone.
This would probably be more realistic in situations where the client is no in imminent danger of committing suicide or likely to become dangerous to others. In severe cases, multiple practitioners will work with a single client to provide coping mechanisms for extreme and everyday situations.