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What is CBT for Psychosis

CBT for Psychosis utilizes evidenced based practices from traditional Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT); the focus of therapy is to improve the ability of individuals with psychosis to understand and use skills to help them cope with a variety of problems. These problems may include how to manage distressing symptoms, like auditory hallucinations or delusions (False Beliefs). Some of the same tools used in traditional CBT, like understanding Cognitive Distortions (or Mistakes in Thinking) can be used in CBTp, but sometimes training sessions are shorter and homework assignments are broken down to increase follow-through. Much of the practice is repetitive in nature, until some of the skills became a part of daily routine, much like brushing teeth or other self-care.  For more information on CBTp, you may want to refer to the Book: Cognitive-Behavioral Social Skills Training for Schizophrenia: A Practical Treatment Guide by Eric Granholm PhD, John McQuaid PhD and Jason Holden PhD. I use materiel from this book, in addition to other material in my practice.



Cognitive Behavioral Therapy 

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy? 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based talking therapy that concentrates on how an individual’s thoughts, behaviors, and emotions are connected. CBT helps individuals become aware of their thoughts and behaviors, with a focus on exploring how these impact their emotions. The “here and now” focus allows for the development of skills to identify and address unhelpful thinking patterns and behaviors. As part of CBT, formulation (or case conceptualization) allows for the exploration of past experiences to gain an understanding of how predisposing factors may have underpinned the current links between experiences, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors; and how that increases the individual’s vulnerability to developing mental health problems. 

CBT is recommended as a first-line intervention for the treatment of mild to moderate depression and anxiety (NICE, 2014) and as an adjunct to medication management in the treatment of more serious mental health problems. CBT is a structured therapy with sessions that follow a similar course and outline regardless of the presenting problem. This outline includes: a review of the week; development of an agenda for the session; review of homework; cognitive and/or behavioral skill acquisition related to an identified problem area; and, finally, setting homework so that the client can practice these new skills in their own environment. The therapist may summarize the session or ask the client to do so and will request feedback so that subsequent sessions can be tailored to fit with what the client found most helpful. Adaptations to this format may be required depending on the client population.  (Beck, 1995). 

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