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How Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Can Help With PTSD

person in therapy with head hanging against hands learning how cognitive behavioral therapy can help ptsd

Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a common form of therapy that has proven successful in treating several mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Learning more about how cognitive-behavioral therapy can help with PTSD may improve the lives who struggle with this mental health condition.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy programs are not for everybody. However, they can be highly beneficial to many. Reach out to our team at Northpoint Seattle today via 888.483.6031 to discuss CBT benefits for PTSD and how our cognitive-behavioral therapy program can benefit you. 

Understanding Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy 

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy that has been proven to be successful in treating a number of mental health conditions. CBT focuses on the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It encourages the idea that changes in any domain can improve functioning in another. 

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is different from many other forms of therapy and psychological treatment. Much of this concerns the advances in CBT in research and clinical trials. Therefore, CBT is an approach for which there is significant scientific evidence that the methods effectively produce change. 

CBT is based on several core principles, including: 

  • Unhelpful ways of thinking are partially the basis of psychological problems 
  • Learned patterns of detrimental or unhelpful behavior are partially the basis of psychological problems 
  • People suffering from psychological problems can learn more effective ways of coping with them to relieve their symptoms 

CBT may help individuals replace negative thoughts with positive ones to promote healing and well-being.

Understanding PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health condition that can develop in anybody after exposure to a traumatic event or extreme stress. It can look different for everybody depending on the traumatizing event, as well as their individual person. PTSD often manifests as a variety of cognitive, behavioral, and physiological symptoms that occur during or after re-experiencing the event or encountering reminders of it. Some symptoms of PTSD include: 

  • Intrusive memories
  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares about the event
  • Avoiding specific topics, places, or people that remind you of the event
  • Hopelessness
  • Memory problems 

Those with PTSD may also feel detached and withdrawn from those around them, including friends, family, and partners. 

How Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Can Help PTSD

There are several proven CBT benefits for PTSD. Medical professionals will do this in several different ways. Therapists exploring how cognitive behavioral therapy can help PTSD may encourage the individual to look at their thinking patterns and assumptions and identify unhelpful patterns in thoughts. These can include: 

  • Overgeneralizing bad outcomes
  • Negative thinking that diminishes positive thinking
  • Always expecting catastrophic outcomes 

After looking at these thinking patterns, the therapist might ask the individual to transform them into more balanced and effective thinking patterns. By reconceptualizing a person’s understanding of traumatic experiences, their understanding of themselves and their ability to cope will be significantly improved. 

Some techniques that therapists might use in cognitive-behavioral therapy and PTSD include: 

  • Modifying cognitive distortions while supporting and encouraging the development of healthier ways of thinking 
  • Exposing the individual to the reminders of trauma in a controlled setting, encouraging confrontation rather than avoidance
  • Educating the individual on common reactions to trauma
  • Making crisis plans
  • Teaching the individual to manage stress 

The CBT benefits for PTSD are meant to help the individual gain more of an objective understanding of their trauma, garner a sense of control and self-confidence, and improve their ability to cope with the symptoms of PTSD. 

Call Northpoint Seattle Today to Learn About Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and PTSD 

PTSD can take over a person’s life when left untreated, leaving them avoidant and susceptible to other mental health challenges. Don’t let PTSD take over your or a loved one’s life. Reach out to our medical professionals at Northpoint Seattle today at 888.483.6031 or online to discuss our CBT options for PTSD.