Aspects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Kansas City Needs

Kansas, a leading agricultural producer, historical state, and home to some of the most valuable family businesses, is on the map for all kinds of amazing things. However, Kansas needs a more strategic approach when it comes to healthcare. Here are sobering Kansas health statistics and facts:


  • Kansas ranked #48 in health care quality, and #31 in health care, according to U.S. News


  • Kansas’ state obesity rate stands at 35.2%, which is 3.1% higher than the national average, according to U.S News


  • High prevalence of excessive drinking


  • A 22% increase in firearms fatalities, according to America Health Rankings


One of the medical approaches that would benefit Kansas is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). While there are many aspects of cognitive behavioral therapy Kansas city needs, we’ll look at nine.


What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?


First things first: what’s cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)? The American Psychology Association defines CBT as a psychological treatment proven effective for treating various psychological distresses ranging from depression, anxiety, and substance abuse to marital problems and eating disorders. CBT draws a connection between someone’s thoughts, emotions, and actions.

The core principle in CBT is that psychological problems arise primarily because of faulty thinking. The other core principle is that psychological problems stem from unhelpful thinking patterns. The last pillar is that people can learn better-coping strategies for their psychological problems.


CBT is one of the treatments backed by robust research, experiments, and funding. Further, there are many licensed therapists all over the country. One can even access therapists online on platforms such as TalkSpace. Of course, because of personality and context differences, CBT results are different for every individual.


Many of Kansas’s top health concerns, such as drug poisoning, dental phobia, and eating disorders, can be mitigated using CBT. Let’s now look at aspects of cognitive behavioral therapy Kansas city needs.


1. Coping Mechanisms


CBT has been lauded as an effective strategy for developing coping mechanisms. For example, CBT is the go-to approach for anxiety treatment. CBT achieves this by teaching individuals to identify negative thoughts contributing to emotional distress. Thought monitoring and challenging is a common CBT coping mechanism that helps individuals recognize, challenge and replace negative thoughts.


Behavioral activation is also a common CBT coping mechanism focusing on using behaviors to draw out pleasant emotions. Through CBT, individuals identify positive behaviors such as meditation and exercise in journaling because they improve their mood. The point of CBT is to replace negative, self-defeating thoughts with positive ones.


When an individual is working with a therapist, the therapist may encourage them to engage in relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, breathing, and mindful meditation. Such activities can promote a sense of calm and help them relieve stress. Further, individuals may learn coping mechanisms through positive self-talk. Such positive affirmations help them overcome negative impulses.


2. Basic Dental


Basic dental involves routine dental procedures such as cleaning, exams, tooth crown installation, and x-ray screening. They help in promoting good oral health through preventative measures. Yet sometimes, individuals may miss out on these benefits because of behavioral and psychological issues. Multiple studies have shown the prevalence of dental anxiety, especially among children.


According to the American Association of Dental Hygienist’s Association, moderate dental anxiety is estimated at 19% in a population aged 18 and above. The rates are much higher in children. One of the aspects of cognitive behavioral therapy Kansas City needs is treatment for psychological problems hindering efficient basic dental care delivery in private and public dental care centers.


Psychological problems stemming from the thought of visiting the dentist can be treated using cognitive behavioral therapy. For example, a therapist can help an individual confront the thought: ‘I’ll feel excruciating pain if I visit the dentist today.’ A common strategy is exposure therapy, for example, where the individual is gradually exposed to a video of dental filling treatment.


3. Basic Orthodontic

Basic orthodontic differs from basic dental, and it’s also associated with psychological problems CBT can treat. Basic orthodontic procedures, such as Invisalign treatment, typically involve correcting tooth misalignment. Some psychological problems associated with basic orthodontics include dental phobia and body dysmorphic disorder for individuals with misaligned teeth.


Basic orthodontic treatment may be less effective if the individual believes it won’t change their imagined or real flaws. CBT can help the patient address their fears, unhelpful thinking patterns, and behaviors, such as removing braces once before their time. Another feature of cognitive behavior therapy Kansas City needs for its patients is treating dentophobia, an extreme fear of dentists and dental treatments.


According to the Cleveland Clinic, dentophobia affects 12% of adults. It can cause one to miss a dentist’s appointment and thus lead to the deterioration of dental problems. A CBT therapist can help an individual take control of their situation by identifying unhelpful thought patterns and replacing them with positive ones.


4. Advanced Chiropractic


Kansas city is one of the cities with high occupational injuries and fatality rates, according to American Health Rankings. Often, these lead to pain and musculoskeletal problems that require advanced chiropractic. Advanced chiropractic goes beyond basic techniques to address complex musculoskeletal problems. The chiropractor may use advanced instruments for a chiropractic adjustment to relieve tension and reduce inflammation.


Considering how prevalent occupational and firearms-related incidences are prevalent in Kansas, CBT can be a helpful auxiliary to advanced chiropractic to aid recovery. One of the aspects of cognitive behavioral therapy Kansas City needs is addressing psychological barriers. Psychological issues such as negative self-talk, depression, and anxiety can undermine an individual’s response to chiropractic treatment.


Some advanced chiropractors practice in an injury and pain clinic, where they help patients learn pain management. CBT is a good strategy for helping patients learn pain self-management techniques such as mindful meditation, relaxation training, and managing stress. Further, CBT can help improve treatment adherence, especially for people likely to abandon chiropractic sessions.


5. Health Services


Kansas City has a long way to go in delivering high-quality health care and improving health access and public health. One of the aspects of cognitive behavioral therapy Kansas City needs is promoting behaviors that improve its citizens’ overall health and well-being. CBT is built on the foundations of thought-behavior connection and thus could be an effective intervention in various health services, from preventive and rehabilitative services such as prosthetics installation to mental health.


According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, 40% of deaths in America can be explained by modifiable human behavior. That’s to say, 40% of the deaths in the U.S. can be prevented by behavioral modification. CBT is an effective strategy for encouraging behavior modification that ensures wholesome health for individuals visiting health centers. Not only can health centers incorporate CBT, but the health professionals themselves can benefit from CBT.


Health centers can incorporate CBT in their treatment in multiple areas, including pain management, chronic disease management, and shedding off harmful behaviors such as smoking and weight loss, as elaborated in the post. Someone doing a nursing job may find CBT helpful for dealing with the pressures of a dynamic workplace.


6. Substance Abuse and Addiction

Substance use and alcohol addiction are quite prevalent in Kansas. According to a report by the Kansas Health Department, drug poisoning is a leading cause of injury and fatality in Kansas, with a fatality rate of 11.7 per 100,000. While CBT is not the all-in-all solution for drug poisoning, access to quality mental health services, including cognitive behavioral therapy in Kansas City, may help reduce these fatalities.


Using CBT, therapists can help individuals and groups identify triggers such as work-related stress and matching coping strategies. For example, if someone is prone to drinking with marital problems, could a positive activity such as journaling help them replace negative thoughts with positive ones? Through CBT, individuals can learn skills to cope with withdrawal symptoms by using CBT coping techniques.


Many substance abuse therapy approaches involve groups; for example, Alcohol Anonymous’s 12 Steps journey is typically taken in group settings. The CBT group approach can offer robust social support to Kansas individuals with substance abuse or alcohol addiction. The support group can offer encouragement, self-learning tools, and hope for participants.


7. Family Services

Family services are various programs and interventions to support and strengthen families. For example, visiting a family orthodontist is an example of family service. The most common family services include counseling and therapy, parenting education, child support, and wellness programs. Regarding cognitive behavior therapy, Kansas City has multiple family-oriented CBT programs.


Families may require counseling and therapy for multiple reasons. For example, when a member is diagnosed with a chronic illness, suffers from an addiction, or has marital discord. CBT is an evidence-based approach to help families find coping tools, improve communication, increase empathy, and build problem-solving skills.


For families with members living with unhelpful habits such as emotional eating, CBT can help them identify triggers. Having the whole family in therapy sessions can provide much-needed emotional support. For parents struggling with feelings of unworthiness, CBT can help them identify negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones.


8. Eating Disorders


One of the complex psychological problems CBT can help Kansas with is reducing incidences of eating disorders. According to the National Institute of Mental Institute, the lifetime prevalence of eating disorders is 2.7%. Females are more than twice as likely to encounter eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. While many approaches can treat eating disorders, CBT is a good alternative. Not only is it backed by robust research, but there are also many certified practitioners in Kansas.


CBT can help individuals cope with their emotions without relying on food. Eating disorders arise because individuals have unresolved emotions that they treat with food. Some people opt to eat, then vomit because they have unresolved emotions about how they look. CBT helps patients recognize these negative thought patterns using techniques such as mindful meditation. They can replace these thoughts with positive ones, such as: ‘I’m good enough, beautiful and I don’t need poor eating habits to prove it.”


Eating disorders also result in ‘all or nothing’ patterns of thoughts. A person thinks that food is either good or bad. Through CBT, such people can have a balanced view of food that doesn’t lead them to over-relying on food. Further, through CBT, individuals can improve their self-esteem and body image, for example, by challenging negative talk with positive self-affirmation.


9. CBT for Weight Loss

Kansas needs another aspect of cognitive behavioral therapy: behavior modification for weight loss. Kansas City is one of the cities with high obesity rates, despite being a producer of healthy foods. A part of the weight gain can be explained by poor health behaviors, such as poor diet, not exercising, and a sedentary lifestyle. However, many drop off the wagon even when people commit to healthy eating.


While many start weight loss regimens and programs with high vigor, they lose motivation. That’s where CBT comes in. CBT helps one identify their thoughts and how they relate to one’s actions. For example, what are my thoughts telling me if I plan to jog every day but hit the snooze button? Further, CBT helps individuals activate their behaviors with positive rewards, such as words of affirmation.


CBT may not be the all in all approach that helps one lose weight, but it could help someone identify habits that are hindering their process, find the strength to cope when they feel tempted to stop, and social support to cheer them on the journey.

CBT is an effective, research-backed psychological treatment that can be helpful to Kansas. Some of Kansas’ most concerning health issues, such as obesity and substance disorders, can be treated using CBT. We have highlighted some aspects of cognitive behavioral therapy Kansas City needs, including coping mechanisms and anger management. By increasing mental health care access, Kansas could rise from its current status to compete with states such as Hawaii with better health care access.