Cognitive Behavioral Therapy—Counselors in Beverly Hills, MI
Think about the last time you were in a tight spot, maybe you experienced a particularly difficult challenge at work or a personal setback. What did you tell yourself about that situation? Whether you spoke to yourself with a positive and accurate view of reality makes a big difference in the outcome of that situation. Many times, people tell themselves untrue, negative things like, “I made a mistake. I never do anything right.” Thoughts like these can make an already difficult situation even worse, and many people are learning to fight this negativity through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Working with a therapist, they are changing with their lives by first changing their mindset.
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking.
It cannot be changed without
changing our thinking.” —Albert Einstein
CBT can empower people to do what Albert Einstein says, changing the world through changing their thinking. What people think has a lot of power in their lives, and people have significant control over their thoughts. Changing a negative, untrue thought to a positive, true one is not as easy as flipping a switch, but it can be done. CBT can teach people…
- How much power they exert over their feelings, thoughts, and actions.
- To recognize negative and untrue thoughts within themselves before they progress into actions.
- The cognitive and emotional skills it takes to adjust those thoughts.
- How to address challenges in a practical, positive, and truthful way.
The staff at Thriveworks Beverly Hills offers cognitive behavioral therapy, and we have seen the difference positive, true thoughts make in an individual’s life. Internal change is the key of lasting, positive life change.
The Problem of Cognitive Distortion
An individual’s feelings, thoughts, and behaviors are all interconnected. Untrue, negative thinking patterns, therefore, are not small matters, but they can wreak havoc in a person’s life. There is even a term for them: cognitive distortions. The first step toward a more positive outlook is identifying cognitive distortions. When people step back and examine their thinking, they can make necessary adjustments. Cognitive distortions come in innumerable shapes and sizes, but a few common ones include…
- Overgeneralization—taking a universal principle away from one experience. For example, telling yourself that you are incompetent even though you only made one mistake.
- Emotional reasoning—equating internal emotions with external realities. For example, people feel guilty all the time for things that are not their own fault. The internal feeling of guilt does not equate to the external reality of guilt.
- Polarized or “black and white” thinking—placing everything into an all-or-nothing category. Everything is black, or it is white. There is no grey.
- Blaming—finding fault anywhere and everywhere. Sometimes no one is at fault. Other times, assigning blame does not help the situation.
- Catastrophizing—seeing disaster around every corner. This can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The reality is that setbacks are normal, not signs that the world is falling apart.
- Control fallacy—over-exerting one’s control or abandoning one’s control. For example, children may feel as if they caused their parents’ divorce when they had no such control over their parents’ choice.
- Filtering—denying or minimizing positive realities. The good is filtered out so that all a person sees and processes is negative.
- Fallacy of fairness—comparing oneself to others in a way that imposes an arbitrary standard for fairness.
What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy? How Could It Help?
Cognitive behavioral therapy combats these cognitive distortions with true, positive thinking patterns about reality. It is a therapeutic method wherein clients present a real-life situation, and the counselors and client work together to process it. In this way, it is proactive and practical.
One example of an exercise therapists may use to help clients adjust their cognitive distortions is called the “Three-column Technique.” During this exercise, clients with draw three columns on a blank piece of paper. On the left side, clients will record a situation they are currently facing. For example, they may write that they are experiencing anxiety about a friend who has not returned their text message asking to meet up at the movies next week. In the middle column, clients will record what they are thinking about this circumstance. They may say that they think their friend is upset at them… that their friend does not like them anymore… that they are a bad friend. In the middle column, clients will also write which cognitive distortions this thinking may involve. In this case, it would be catastrophizing and blaming. Finally, in the third column, clients will write a healthier, true response. They may write that their friend could be busy… that they will text their friend asking how their week has been… that no one is to blame (sometimes people just do not answer texts and that is ok). This exercise may feel forced at first, the more clients go through it, the more adjusting their cognitive distortions will feel natural.
CBT can be used in a wide variety of therapeutic settings, including as a treatment for…
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Mood swings
- General health issues
- Drug and/or alcohol addiction
- Self-destructive habits
- Anger management
- Child and adolescent issues
- Relationship issues
CBT Appointments at Thriveworks Beverly Hills
If you are ready to change your negative thoughts, Thriveworks Beverly Hills is ready to help. We have appointments for CBT available, and our therapists and counselors are ready to work with you. When you contact our office, you may have your first session within 24 hours. We have evening and weekend appointments. We also accept most insurance plans.
Let’s work together for a positive change. Call Thriveworks Beverly Hills today.