April 18, 2022
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Seeks to Change a Patient’s Negative Thoughts
Hundreds of thousands of our former service members have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Experts reveal that both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were responsible for nearly 500,000 mentally scarred veterans.
Soldiers who witnessed and experienced traumatic events in the conflict zones where they were deployed were the foremost victims of PTSD. Getting severely injured or wounded, witnessing civilians and their fellow soldiers die, and killing enemy troops in battle are among the factors that can cause PTSD.
Recurring flashbacks, mood swings, avoidance, nightmares, and behavioral changes are some of the most common symptoms of the disorder. Those who fail to seek professional help often find themselves facing complicated mental health issues.
A popular treatment among veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder is CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy.
What Is CBT?
This therapy is a type of psychological treatment that helps patients recognize and change disturbing or destructive thought patterns that negatively influence their behavior.
Cognitive therapists aim to change the automatic negative thoughts that affect their patients’ mental health. Through CBT, these thoughts are identified, challenged, and replaced with more realistic thoughts and objectives.
CBT has been found to be effective in treating a range of mental health issues, not just PTSD. It can also help treat the following:
- Anxiety disorders
- Anger issues
- Panic attacks
- Personality disorders
- Eating disorders
- Sleeping disorders
- Alcohol and drug use problems
- Mental health issues resulting from marital problems
CBT is a collaborative effort. The therapist and patient work together to understand the underlying issues and come up with a treatment strategy. Through the different exercises and homework outside of sessions, the patient learns to develop effective coping skills to help them change their thinking, feelings, and behavior.
CBT for Vets with PTSD
In the context of treating PTSD, cognitive behavioral therapy uses a trauma-focused approach, which means that the traumatic event is made the center of the treatment plan.
Therapists use a variety of techniques to guide their patients in reducing their PTSD symptoms and improving their mental functioning.
Veteran Car Donations has compiled three ways to reduce the symptoms of the illness:
- Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
An adaptation of cognitive therapy, CPT is about recognizing and reevaluating trauma-related thinking. It centers on how people view themselves, others, and the world after going through a traumatic event.
In CPT, the patient reflects on why their trauma occurred and how it affects their thinking. They learn skills to help them evaluate whether their thoughts are supported by facts and whether there are more helpful ways to think about their trauma. This treatment especially works best for vets who blame themselves for the trauma-causing incident.
Numerous studies have shown the efficacy of CPT for treating PTSD.
- Prolonged Exposure (PE)
As the name implies, prolonged exposure involves helping veterans with PTSD stop avoiding trauma reminders by repeatedly exposing them to the experience. Avoiding these reminders may help them in the short term, but it can prevent recovery in the long term.
With PE, the therapist uses either imaginal or in vivo exposure. Imaginal exposure lets the patient recount every detail they can remember about the traumatic experience. On the other hand, in vivo exposure exposes the patient to the actual scenario or object they’ve been avoiding.
The goal of prolonged exposure is for patients to eliminate PTSD symptoms by confronting trauma-related thoughts, feelings, and challenges. The American Psychological Association strongly recommends PE for the treatment of PTSD.
- Stress Inoculation Training (SIT)
SIT teaches coping skills to patients with PTSD to prepare themselves in case they encounter stressful situations. The term “inoculation” is based on the idea that the therapist is inoculating or conditioning patients to become resistant to the effects of stressors. It is often used in conjunction with other techniques, including CPT.
As with the two other CBT methods, stress inoculation training is one of the most effective treatments for PTSD.
Help Our Vets Overcome PTSD and Other Life Challenges Today
Post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions aren’t the only woes faced by many of our retired servicemen and servicewomen. Chronic unemployment, homelessness due to extreme poverty, illnesses, and service-connected disabilities also prevent them from living the decent and fulfilling life they deserve.
The good news is, their life doesn’t have to be like this forever. Numerous IRS-certified 501(c)(3) nonprofits across the country are dedicated to improving the living conditions of these veterans, and some of them are our charity partners. If you’d like to become a part of our mission, all you have to do is donate any vehicle you no longer need to us here at Veteran Car Donations.
We will put your vehicle up for auction, with the proceeds going to our charity partners. They use the funding we give to deliver free psychotherapy services, quality health care, financial aid, housing assistance, employment opportunities, family support, educational scholarships, and many other benefits to deserving veterans and their families.
You will also reap valuable rewards from your charitable contribution. You’ll have your vehicle hauled away at a date, time, and place of your choice, thanks to our free nationwide pickup and towing services. You’ll also enjoy our quick and convenient donation process where you don’t have to do any paperwork.
On top of that, you’ll have the privilege of receiving the maximum tax deduction in the next tax season.
Aside from the material rewards in store for you as our donor, you’ll also enjoy a most satisfying donating experience, knowing that your act of charity will help transform the lives of our nation’s heroes.
We take in nearly all vehicle types, including those that are no longer in good condition.
Help Provide Our Heroes a Better Future
A simple vehicle donation from you can transform the lives of our hurting veterans. They did everything they could to keep our country safe. We also owe our freedoms to them. Show them your gratitude with your vehicle donation. Call Veteran Car Donations at 877-594-5822 or fill out our secure online donation form now!