What is CBT and How Can it Help You?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been proven to help all manner of distress, including anxiety, depression, and conflicts within relationships.
CBT is based on the idea that how we think (cognition), how we feel (emotion) and how we act (behavior) all interact together. Specifically, our beliefs determine our feelings and our behavior.
Negative or unrealistic thoughts can cause discomfort or even emotional suffering which can affect all areas in one’s life. This then creates a negative cycle in which negative experiences create more unrealistic or irrational thoughts, which lead to more painful emotions, which then lead to more negative behaviors, which reinforce negative beliefs, and so on.
The focus of CBT is to help you become aware of these irrational thoughts or beliefs (beliefs are just more deeply embedded thoughts, ex., “I am not good enough,” or “I must be perfect”). Once aware of these irrational beliefs, one can then begin to challenge the accuracy of these distorted thoughts/beliefs, to reassess them and, in the process, develop alternate ways of thinking and behaving that can produce a more positive impact on one’s life.
The beauty of CBT is that as one learns of his or her own relationship to these thoughts, and how to “reality test” them, that is, to see if these thoughts are realistic or useful, one can gain more control over how his or her mind works. Even more powerful is combining CBT with Mindfulness as mindfulness helps you to become more aware of your thoughts as they are happening. There is a great synergy between these two modes of change.