Becoming familiar with cognitive behavioral therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) isn’t a psychology buzzword. It’s a method that’s been proven to help patients struggling with dysfunctional thought processes to restructure their approach to life. This form of therapy is largely focused on talk therapy. However, patients can also benefit from interactive cognitive behavioral therapy exercises helping them to recognize problem areas and to take back control by changing their thoughts and behaviors. Understanding actionable cognitive behavioral therapy exercises is a step in the right direction for providers trying to take a more holistic approach to care delivery.
The CBT process and its advantages
CBT is a type of psychotherapy helping patients learn how to think about certain scenarios in different ways. It focuses on the negative behaviors of a patient that have been learned through various situations. These can include reactions associated with PTSD, anxiety and depression, and a number of other disorders that have their basis in negative thoughts and behaviors. There are many times when people are psychologically programmed to react to certain situations or stimuli in a way that’s neither productive nor healthy. CBT exercises help patients face these challenges with positive thoughts and in a proactive way.
Patients are encouraged to discuss their problems and to give the practitioner some insight into how their behaviors are impacting their life. Then, the patient discusses their activities, past and present, as they learn how to change their behaviors and thought patterns for the better. The evaluation morphs into the treatment as new insight into the “why” behind certain behaviors comes to light.
While most medical professionals understand the basics behind cognitive behavioral therapy exercises, they don’t always know how to apply certain ones to their practices to enhance their patient experiences.
Applying CBT exercises to improve patient experience
The most important place to start for any practitioner is listening. When a patient speaks, listen to what they say, how they say it, and find out more. Taking a few extra minutes during each examination can provide practitioners with an entirely new level of insight into how an ailment is impacting a patient’s daily life as well as their mental health. Here are some additional CBT techniques that offer simple ways to improve the tools available to your patients:
Examining thoughts to reduce worry
Many patients experience a great deal of fear and anxiety over their physical health. Working with them to identify worry-inducing thoughts and to develop coping skills can have a huge impact on their quality of life as a whole.
Developing relative coping skills
Sometimes even simple breathing exercises or focusing tips can help derail a panic attack and make patients feel more in control. Coping skills for dealing with pain or the thoughts that can come with the fear of health procedures are extremely beneficial.
Journaling is a very useful tool for patients who have things they need to discuss, but don’t always remember under pressure. Encouraging them to write things down as they think of them can help them to feel connected to their thoughts and behaviors. A patient needs as many tools as possible to become their own advocate, no matter what type of mental or physical healthcare they might require.
NeuroFlow connects patients and practitioners
Even with the best care, patients can become disconnected and disengaged from their treatment in the time they spend outside of their doctor’s office. Treatments like CBT are made more effective when combined with solutions like Neuroflow’s free mobile app for patients, or integrated mental health platform for medical practices. Our tools are designed to improve the quality of mental health care and to make it easier on both ends to open the lines of communication between doctor and patient. They break down the barriers to patients engaging in their own treatment, upping the odds for success with any method. Find out more about what drives us or get in touch with any questions.