After coming through a mental health crisis caused by the pandemic last year, our family has certainly learned a lot. That is why we were so pleased to be asked by BetterHelp.com to share our experiences, along with more information, in this series of articles.
We have talked about several aspects of treatments, as well as the variety of therapy styles and options in those essays, but here we would like to focus on Cognitive Psychotherapy.
The objective with cognitive psychotherapy is to examine thinking and behavior, along with the patient’s ways of communicating, that are happening in the here and now rather than exploring events from the past. This creates opportunities to find changes that can improve life for the patient overall.
The therapist works with the patient, often through homework assignments, to identify and improve thoughts and beliefs in the moment, and then to begin implementing the techniques in a real-world setting.
In our family’s particular case, this method was remarkably successful when followed up by pursuing additional treatments and therapies. After being assessed, worksheets and reading material were used to evaluate, educate, and keep track of the progress our patient was making.
Throughout the process, thinking and behaviors were being identified that led to anxiety or pain so that methods to help make better decisions could be applied immediately. These were learned in order to help identify realistic or unrealistic expectations as they happen. With this comes an understanding of how to react properly.
Then these skills can be used going forward so that the patient can practice them even after the therapy has been completed.
Many of the issues we faced, along with so many other people through the difficult days of this pandemic, can be treated with cognitive therapy. Problems ranging from, anxiety or panic, to anger, depression, or substance abuse can all expect good results when the patient works well with their therapist.
With the help of BetterHelp.com, the treatment can be pursued with a therapist either online or face to face. We feel strongly that this is an important point, especially with the situation that we face with restrictions and social distancing for the foreseeable future.
Of course, choosing a therapist is an extremely important part of this process, or any therapy, so let’s take a look at a few ideas we have gleaned from our recent situation.
First, it is imperative that the relationship works on a personal level. It is difficult at best to share intimate details of your life and struggles with anyone, much less with someone who you do not feel you have a connection or trust to build on. In our case a change of therapists was made after the first week or so and we have no doubts that it helped the connection between patient and therapist.
The new therapist went on to be quite successful because there was a level of trust and understanding between them. Part of that trust is knowing that the therapist you choose is qualified and trained in the issues that are affecting you.
It is nearly as important to look for ways to keep the process as convenient as possible. Ideally, the therapy can be conducted with a minimal amount of disruption to daily life. This is another reason that online treatment can be especially beneficial.
Online therapy also opens up possibilities for choosing a therapist that may not be in your area, giving patients a much larger group to select from.
All of this adds up to making it easier to find help and complete treatment when it is needed, and we all can agree that is a good thing.
David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com
For more about BetterHelp.com and their programs, please see these previous articles we have shared here on GypsyNester.com: