You may have heard of cognitive behavioral therapy. It can be a helpful process in many aspects, but what is cognitive behavioral therapy? Also reffered to as CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy that determines how we feel and act by highlighting underlying thoughts and thought patterns. CBT therapists work with patients to help them reveal and change thought patterns and reactions.

CBT can help with such conditions as manic depression, schizophrenia, chronic fatigue syndrome, eating disorders, insomnia, depression, and more. This form of therapy can help improve quality of life as well as reduce stress, but there are other cognitive behavioral therapy benefits, as well. Learn more by reading below.

Here are 5 cognitive behavioral therapy benefits to consider:

1. Lowers Symptoms of Depression

Cognitive behavioral therapy benefits include being one of the best-known treatments for depression. It can help those who suffer from depression overcome such symptoms as hopelessness, anger and low motivation. Furthermore, studies show CBT helps lower risk of relapse in the future.

If you’re wondering what is cognitive behavioral therapy, you may also be wondering if it is a viable replacement for antidepressant medications. According to the journal Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Mood Disorders, in some cases, it can be. Furthermore, cognitive behavioral therapy benefits includes being a viable treatment for postpartum depression, as well. (1)

2. Reduces Anxiety

Also on the list of cognitive behavioral therapy benefits is reducing anxiety. This includes afflictions such as panic disorders, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. (2)

Cognitive behavioral therapy benefits anxiety because in includes a variety of techniques. For example, it involves psycho-education about the nature of fear and anxiety, self-monitoring of symptoms, somatic exercises, cognitive restructuring, exposure therapy, weaning from ineffective safety signals, and relapse prevention.

3. Helps Treat Eating Disorders

Cognitive behavioral therapy benefits includes treating eating disorders, as well. It helps address the underlying psychopathology of eating disorders, improve impulse control that is associated with binge eating, reduce feelings of isolation, and help patience become more comfortable around foods that are triggering. It can also interfere with the maintenance of unhealthy body weight. (3)

Cognitive behavioral therapy benefits also include treating bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. In fact, CBT has become the treatment of choice for treating bulimia, and is helpful in treating around 60 percent of those who suffer from anorexia.

4. Reduces Addictive Behaviors and Substance Abuse

Studies published in the Oxford Journal of Public Health demonstrate that cognitive behavioral therapy benefits include reducing additive behaviors like smoking. It can also help with drug and alcohol addiction, as well as gambling. In fact, CBT may be more beneficial in stopping impulse control issues than other treatments. (4, 5)

5. Helps Improve Self-Esteem and Confidence

Now that you have an answer to the question what is cognitive behavioral therapy, it’s important to note that it isn’t just for those who have serious mental disorders. Cognitive behavioral therapy benefits, or can benefit those who suffer from destructive, negative thoughts that lead to poor self-esteem. Furthermore, it can take those thoughts and replace them with positive affirmations and expectations. It can also help you develop affirmative communication skills, build healthy relationships, and adopt stress-reducing techniques.