Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Boston, MA—Therapists and Counselors
Everyone faces difficulties and challenges in life—no one is exempt. However, people do have control over one thing: their own response. How people respond can make these situations easier or harder. After one mistake, have you ever told yourself, “I can’t do anything right.” How about when you were in a tight spot, have you ever thought, “I feel overwhelmed. I am out of options.” Most likely, you have thought this or something similar because most people have. These are examples of cognitive distortions, and just like everyone faces challenges, everyone will experience cognitive distortions—untrue and negative thought patterns. Cognitive distortions make already difficult realities even more challenging. But many people are learning how to change their thinking. It is not as simple as changing the channel on the TV, but people can and do replace these cognitive distortions with true, positive thoughts. To learn how, many people are turning to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
CBT is a type of therapy that focuses upon people’s thought patterns. Through CBT, internal change is the catalyst for external change. People cannot always control their circumstances or other people, but they can change their perspective. Clinical studies have shown that clients who went through CBT experienced significant and stable changes by adjusting their thought patterns. Specifically, clients who wrestled with anxiety and depression experienced similar results with CBT as they did with medication. CBT empowers individuals with cognitive and emotional skills that often benefit after their therapy finishes.
“Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.” —Carol Burnett
Thriveworks Boston knows that lasting change comes from individuals who want a better life but who also need a little help along the way. That is why we offer cognitive behavioral therapy. Our therapists and counselors have partnered with many clients and have seen the impact positive thinking can have in an individual’s life.
What Happens at Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
When individuals begin CBT, their therapists will often have them specific an emotional, psychological, relational, and/or social problem they are facing. CBT is very practice and asks clients to be proactive in their lives. However, CBT does not analyze the situation, but it focuses upon the clients and how each client views their particular challenge.
The situations that clients may name will vary greatly, and they may include…
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Relationship issues
- Self-destructive habits
- Anger management
- Mood swings
- General health issues
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Drug and/or alcohol addiction
- Child and adolescent issues
One way that CBT may help clients is by replacing their cognitive distortions about their particular situation with true, positive thinking patterns. For example, Carman has some relational problems with her parents. She is a grown woman who works full time and supports herself. Carman’s parents want her to visit for Thanksgiving, but Carman wants to stay where she lives and spend the holiday with her boyfriend. Carman told her parents she would not visit, and now she feels intense guilt. She keeps telling herself, “I’ve done something wrong. I am a bad daughter.”
Carman is plagued by cognitive distortions. Just because Carman feels guilty does not mean she is guilty. Instead, Carman can remind herself that as an adult, she is allowed to choose where she will spend her time. Her parents may be upset, but their discomfort does not mean Carman is a bad daughter. Carman can remind herself that she loves her parents and plans to spend Christmas with them. This one decision does not reflect her relationship with her parents.
Prevalent Cognitive Distortions
Everyone will experience a cognitive distortion at some point in life. They are destructive but common. Part of their destruction lies in that they can fuel action. Untrue thoughts can lead to unhelpful behaviors. Being aware that cognitive distortions exists and what they may look like is often the first step toward fighting them. Prevalent cognitive distortions include…
- “Black and white” or polarized thinking categorizing everything as good-or-bad, horrifying-or-peaceful, delicious-or-disgusting. This either-or thinking does not allow for shade or grey.
- Filtering blocks any good realities, minimizing or denying them so that people only acknowledge the negative, the adverse, and the bad.
- Catastrophizing anticipates the worst possible outcomes in every situation even when signs point to a potentially beneficial outcome.
- Overgeneralization uses one experience to make a principle that may or may not be true and is applied to other experiences that may or may not be connected.
- Personalization happens people interpret another’s actions as a statement about themselves such as if a friend cannot answer a phone call, the individual feels personally slighted.
- Blaming is fault-finding even when there is no one to blame.
- Emotional reasoning mistakes one’s feelings about reality with that reality itself. In the previous example, Carman was feeling guilty, but she was not actually guilty.
Scheduling an Appointment for CBT at Thriveworks Boston
Consider for a moment what challenges you are facing. What do you think about those situations? Are those thoughts helping? If cognitive distortions are exacerbating the difficulties in your life, know that Thriveworks Boston offer cognitive behavioral therapy.
If you reach out to Thriveworks Boston, you may be meeting with your therapist the following day. We do not keep waitlists, but we do offer weekend and evening appointments. We also accept most insurance plans.
Let’s get started. Contact Thriveworks Boston today.