Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
How can I go about determining whether CBT is right for me?
CBT could be worth considering if:
You are interested in learning practical skills which will allow you to better manage daily situations and interactions, as well as the distress you feel as a result of your psychosis.
You are willing to put in the time to practice your newly-learned skills in between sessions .
The effectiveness of CBT is in large part dependent on how much time, effort, and work you are willing to put into it. It is important to note that CBT is not suitable for everyone.
How long does CBT last?
CBT is a time-limited and goal-oriented treatment approach. The length of treatment can vary but typically involves 16 - 30 weekly sessions. Some people may find that they significantly improve in only 4-6 sessions, while others may find that they need more than 20 sessions to notice a different in their way of thinking.
How does CBT differ from other forms of therapy?
Unlike other forms of therapy, CBT does not concentrate on one's unconscious feelings, thoughts, or defense mechanisms. CBT focuses on the here-and-now (i.e., what a patient is experiencing in the present time), and combines theories and techniques from both cognitive and behavioural paradigms. CBT emphasizes that our initial perception of a situation can produce a sequence of dysfunctional and negative emotions within us. It instead teaches the appraisal of distressing events as positive learning experiences, instead of reflections of how "worthy" or "adequate" we are.
How is progress assessed?
Two key features of cognitive behavioural therapy are measurement and feedback. Mood scales and other psychological tools are administered to measure progress objectively. Ongoing feedback is encouraged regarding progress and any perceived obstacles to treatment.
Should I choose individual or group CBT?
Individual and group CBT have been shown to produce similar results for a variety of mental health issues. In individual CBT, the session revolves around the client's needs and difficulties, allowing therapists to get to know their clients on a more intimate level, and adjust treatment according to any progress or issues which may arise. Clients who choose individual CBT often do so because they feel they can share much more personal information, and it offers greater flexibility relative to scheduling appointments.
Group therapy typically consists of weekly sessions occurring at pre-determined dates and times, and revolving around hearing from other individuals who face similar struggles. Those who choose group CBT often do so to connect with others, allowing them to feel less alone as they engage with CBT and learn to apply new skills. It is also very much possible to be involved in both group and individual CBT at the same time.