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There are many different types of group counseling, making it complicated to select which one works best. Thus, the personality of each patient should be the primary consideration in the selection as every person is unique and requires a different approach. According to David, Cristea, and Hofmann (2018), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is arguably the gold standard of psychotherapy. It is commonly used to treat a wide range of disorders, including anxiety, phobias, depression, and addiction. This type of treatment is effective as it helps clients develop coping skills that can be useful both now and in the future. This paper analyses the efficacy of CBT and argues that it will best assist in facilitating change in-group members with various mental health problems.
The Efficacy of the Method
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy based on the idea of connectivity between thoughts, behaviors, and feelings. It argues that our thoughts and feelings are what affect our behavior the most, meaning that by analyzing them we can influence the way we react to the world. It can be helpful for patients who engage in unhealthy behaviors and do not understand how they can change their actions. For example, a person who spends a lot of time thinking about being sick and getting an untreatable disease may be prone to spend much money on doctors’ visits. If this individual realizes that the fears do not have any basis, he or she might stop going to the hospital that often.
The primary purpose of CBT is to show each patient that even though the world around us in uncontrollable, they are the ones responsible for the way they interpret and deal with events that happen to them. This type of therapy is beneficial as it does not involve medication and allows individuals to be actively engaged in their treatment. Moreover, it shows excellent patient outcomes as it teaches individuals how to improve their current and future life situations.
I have experience in cognitive behavioral therapy, as I have utilized its methods to improve the quality of my life, and studied the studies addressing it. I think that keeping one’s mental attention in the present, rather than worrying about the past or the future is beneficial to anyone, regardless of the circumstances in their lives. I believe that learning this concept in group therapy with a psychologist leading patients through that journey can make a life-changing impact. My research on the topic further supported my belief and revealed that CBT could be helpful for patients with different kinds of mental health issues.
CBT is empirically supported and has been shown to help patients overcome a wide variety of maladaptive behaviors effectively. For example, one recent study analyzed how CBT could help international students to deal with their anxiety and depression (Pan, Ng, Young, & Caroline, 2016). Both short-term and long-term results showed a significant decrease in mental health problems. That is one of the main advantages of CBT is that it teaches techniques that the patients can use for the rest of their lives. A study by Chiang et al. (2015) further confirms the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy.
After it had been performed, one-year follow-up results showed that the level of depression and negative thoughts stayed reduced, reinforcing the long-term effects of the treatment. CBT is inferior to other psychotherapy techniques because the skills learned by the patients alternate their thinking patterns, directly influencing their outlook on the world in a more positive manner. It is not a short-term solution; it is a tool that can help the patient with fighting mental health issues long after the end of the therapy.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy could be especially helpful to patients dealing with chronic and disabling illnesses. Berardelli et al. (2018) performed a study on patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and compared the results of group CBT and education intervention. The results confirmed that CBT was significantly more effective than education intervention, suggesting that CBT therapy gives useful tools that could help with dealing with mental problems developed because of an illness.
In the case of mild depression or anxiety, an alternative to CBT could be a meditation practice. It could be performed both in a group and at home. The goal of meditation is to be able to attach oneself from thoughts and observe them without any judgment or reaction. Getting good at recognizing this takes some time but, it can help reset the negative messages in your head. Multiple studies found that meditation results in small to moderate improvements in reducing emotional symptoms (Goyal et al. 2014).
A good strategy is to combine both cognitive behavioral therapy and meditation practice strategies as CBT helps to analyze negative self-talk, and meditation addresses uncomfortable thoughts that keep arising. There are multiple apps and useful sources online that could help with starting the meditation practice. Meditation is helpful not only for people struggling with mental health issues; anyone trying to have a happier and calmer life could benefit from the practice.
This paper analyzed evidence proving that cognitive-behavioral therapy is an effective group therapy approach that can facilitate short-term and long-term change in patients. Currently, CBT is used as one of the main psychotherapy approaches, helping thousands of people with their mental health issues. However, one cannot forget that each patient is unique, so CBT should not be the exclusive approach used in every case.
Pan, J., Ng, P., Young, D. K., & Caroline, S. (2016). Effectiveness of cognitive behavioral group intervention on acculturation. Research on Social Work Practice, 27(1), 68-79. Web.
David, D., Cristea, I., & Hofmann, S. G. (2018). Why cognitive behavioral therapy is the current gold standard of psychotherapy. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 9(4). Web.
Berardelli, I., Bloise, M. C., Bologna, M., Conte, A., Pompili, M., Lamis, D.,… Fabbrini, G. (2018). Cognitive behavioral group therapy versus psychoeducational intervention in Parkinson’s disease. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 14, 399-405. Web.
Chiang, K., Chen, T., Hsieh, H., Tsai, J., Ou, K., & Chou, K. (2015). One-year follow-up of the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral group therapy for patients’ depression: A randomized, single-blinded, controlled study. The Scientific World Journal, 2015, 1-11. Web.
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Goyal, M., Singh, S., Sibinga, EM., Gould, NF., Rowland-Seymour, A., Sharma, R.,… Haythronthwaite, JA. (2014). Meditation programs for psychological stress and well-being: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Intern Medicine, 174(3), 357–368. Web.