Cognitive behavior treatment includes working with a trained therapist to discuss issues and learn methods for adapting to feelings, in either individual or gathering sessions. The emphasis is on present issues, not on the past. The therapist emphasizes identifying distorted and negative thought patterns, and recognizing and changing inaccurate beliefs. Clients learn how to deal with stress and avoid unhealthy thoughts and behavior. They are usually given “assignments” to do between sessions as a way of practicing what they’re learning. Cognitive behavior therapy can help people deal with a number of emotional health and behavior issues, including depression, anxiety, mood disorders, phobias, eating disorders, substance abuse. Cognitive behavior therapy is a goal-directed and problem-focused form of therapy. Clients learn rational thinking and self-counseling skills. The number of sessions is usually limited, with an average of 16 sessions for all types of problems. When a person uses cognitive therapy to help quit smoking, the focus is on increasing the patient’s confidence in their ability to quit smoking, exploring any ambivalence about quitting, learning ways of coping with stress and urges to smoke. You’ll be taught to be on the alert for negative thoughts like, “I’ll never be able to quit smoking” or “What’s the use of quitting now?” The therapist will work with you to develop responses to these thoughts, and have you practice them so that they become almost automatic. The goal is to change thought patterns so that new, healthy patterns replace older, destructive ones. You’ll also learn to distinguish between realistic and unrealistic thoughts and to practice skills aimed at changing thought and behavior patterns.
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