How Can CBT Help to Treat Stress?

StressWe naturally feel a certain amount of stress when we come face to face with challenges in life. When we are feeling self-confident and in control, we can manage our way through stress triggering situations, without too much discomfort.

However, in certain situations, for example, under conditions of prolonged stress or following a traumatic incident, stress levels can increase in intensity. This is because, physiological and psychological stress symptoms become more severe. Stress symptoms, such as, excessive worry, heart racing, churning stomach, etc. can begin to interfere with your overall wellbeing and start to make specific or everyday life situations difficult to cope with.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can provide you with a new perspective on your situation which enables you to regain control, reduce the intense physiological and emotional symptoms and adopt effective strategies that will help you deal with stressful situations with more confidence and ease.

What are the Benefits of CBT Therapy for Stress?

  • Discover why specific situations create a stress response in you.
  • Learn how particular patterns of thinking and behaviour you hold may be keeping you stuck and preventing you from feeling better
  • Discover new ways of thinking and behaving that can eliminate some stressors from your life completely and enable you to cope better with unavoidable situations which can make you feel stress
  • Develop a new understanding and increased confidence in your ability to deal with stressful situations in the future

 

How Does CBT for Stress Work?

CBT therapy for stress enables you to understand how certain thinking and behaviour patterns can increase stress levels. It can also show you how to develop new thinking and behaviour patterns which enable you to identify stress causing triggers and increase your confidence and ability to deal with stressful situations more effectively.

After a good course of cognitive behavioural therapy for stress, you should expect to feel more at ease, in control and better able to handle life situations; both those which give rise to stress and also to actually prevent certain situations from causing you any stress at all.

What are Sessions of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Stress Like?

Cognitive Behavioural TherapyIn your first meeting, your CBT therapist will collaborate with you and ask particular questions. This approach will enable you achieve more clarity regarding the challenges you are facing and help identify a plan of action which can enable you tackle stressors more effectively.

In the following sessions your cognitive behavioural therapist will help you consider situations which are triggers for stress from a new perspective. This process can enable you to understand factors which increase your stress levels from a new perspective. You will also learn different ways of thinking and behaving that will enable you to actively reduce stress and increase your capacity to cope more effectively in stress inducing situations.

Stress Issues CBT Can Help Treat

CBT can help you develop the confidence to manage a whole range of stressful situations with more ease and self-confidence. Below is a list of some of the most well known situations it can people address:

  • Stress at work / career / business management
  • Relationship Stress
  • Stress accompanied by anxiety and/or depression
  • Stress that seems pervasive in many areas of your life
  • Stress that doesn’t make sense when you feel you “should feel ok”
  • Stress caused by particular life changes
  • Stress activated by the desire to succeed in life
  • Stress caused by challenging family situations / relationships
  • Stress caused by loneliness or longing for a partner/relationship
  • Stress triggered from the experience of a traumatic event
  • Stress caused by low-self esteem or low self-confidence
  • Stress triggered by social situations / social anxiety
  • Stress which arises when you need to perform or take certain actions 

 

How Many Sessions of CBT Therapy are Needed to Treat Stress

Many people wonder how much therapy will be required to help them address stress effectively. There are a number of factors which influence the amount of CBT therapy you might find most helpful:

  1. How long you have been dealing with stress
  2. Your levels of self-confidence and self-esteem
  3. The intensity of the stress situation(s) you are dealing with

6 sessions

Six sessions is most commonly prescribed on the NHS because it is the shortest amount of time that can be provided and still shows some evidence of positive outcomes. This number of sessions can be most helpful if you are generally confident and you are facing a specific and not too complex stress situation. If the stress you are experiencing has been prolonged, your self-esteem is low or there are several other stress inducing factors you have to cope with, 6 sessions is unlikely to help you tackle it all completely.

12 Sessions

Twelve sessions of CBT therapy is more commonly recommended when alongside the stress inducing situation you also have to deal with accompanying issues such as anxiety, low-self esteem and or depression. It may also be more helpful if you are dealing with more than one stress causing issue in your life.

24 Sessions or More

Twenty four sessions or more may be recommended when the stress you are facing has been longstanding and there are other longstanding factors affecting your wellbeing such as accompanying anxiety and depression.

 

The Limitations of CBT Therapy for Treating Stress

Whilst CBT therapy provides some excellent tools for understanding and coping better with stress, it is sometimes limited in its ability to achieve more than this. At KlearMinds, we have seen many people who have had CBT therapy for stress but found it hasn’t addressed the whole picture for them and symptoms return. This is generally because CBT doesn’t treat older, underlying roots, which may be limiting your capacity to manage stress effectively, on an ongoing basis. To address this therapeutic shortfall, we also provide a range of psychotherapies that can help you understand the original root of the problem, so that new coping strategies make more sense, as you address the problem from the root upwards. This approach can result in more lasting and comprehensive change, than may be achieved through cognitive behavioural therapy alone.

Learn more about our range of psychotherapy.

Tired of Struggling With Stress? Why Wait?

Contact us today so you can start to feel better soon.