Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Tinnitus
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Tinnitus is a structured, short-term, goal-oriented approach that helps clients more effectively manage tinnitus symptoms. Tinnitus is a condition that affects approximately 20% of people and involves the sensation of hearing sound in one or both ears when no external sound is present. Tinnitus symptoms may include ringing, buzzing, roaring, clicking, and hissing. It is important to note that there typically is no sure for tinnitus; therefore, treatments typically involve helping the patient to better manage these symptoms.
How does cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia work?
CBT teaches you to recognize and change beliefs that affect your ability to manage the symptoms associated with tinnitus. CBT entails patient education, analysis of emotional triggers, exploration of the patient’s thoughts and beliefs about tinnitus, applied relaxation techniques, investigation of the patient’s emotional reactions to tinnitus, and a study of the patient’s avoidance behaviors. The overall plan for therapy is to increase pleasant activity, learn relaxation techniques, and add cognitive skills to replace unhelpful thinking.
Depending on your needs, Dr. Harte may recommend some of these CBT techniques:
Changing behaviors: Behavioral therapies provide skills to reduce internal attention to tinnitus, improve coping, and devise alternative behavior patterns that distract patients from their tinnitus.
Adjusting thoughts: What often makes the condition burdensome are the negative emotional and cognitive reactions patients have in response to tinnitus. That is, it is the patient’s emotional response that is the key factor in whether the tinnitus is perceived as bothersome or not. Dr. Harte uses several cognitive interventions to help patients re-frame their beliefs about tinnitus and feel more in control of the condition. By doing this, patients, are better able to reduce the perceived impact of the condition.
Relaxation Training: Relaxation training teaches you how to relax both your mind and your body. This helps you to reduce any anxiety or tension in reaction to your tinnitus symptoms such that you can be more focused at work and home. These techniques can be used both during the day and at bedtime. It involves training you how to better control muscle relaxation, breathing, and mental focusing.