Everyone at some point in life feels stuck. Have you ever stared at a situation and thought, “I just cannot do this”? Most likely, you have. But what if that negative thought was not true? What if you could do it? Many people are learning that they can overcome the problems in life that are holding them back. These people may or may not be able to change other people or their circumstances, but they have learned the key to success: they can always change their own thinking.
“I learned to take those experiences that were difficult in my life and
in the adversity that I had overcome to use it for a positive change.”
Making a positive change is possible, but often easier said than done. Changing one’s perspective and thinking can be a long process. When people have a particular problem they want to overcome, they usually need support. Many are working with a counselor and pursuing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to receive the guidance they need.
CBT is a proven therapeutic model that has helped many different people facing many different problems. Clinical trials have shown that patients who undergo cognitive behavioral therapy often experience lasting and real change, and at times, CBT has produced results as effective as medication when people have depression or anxiety. Even more, because CBT focuses on strengthening an individual, its benefits often last even have therapy has finished.
In particular, counselors have used CBT to treat…
- Anxiety and depression
- Mood swings
- Anger management
- Self-destructive habits
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Drug and/or alcohol addiction
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Child and adolescent issues
- Relationship issues
- General health issues
The counselors and therapists Thriveworks Charlotte utilize CBT because it is a proven and effective treatment. If you are ready to make a positive change in your life, our staff is ready to support you and guide your process with cognitive behavioral therapy.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: What Is It?
CBT is a proactive and practical method of psychotherapy that seeks to address a specific emotional, social, or relational problem. Together with a therapist’s guidance, individuals seek to change their own negative thought and behavior patterns that may be fueling the difficulty.
While difficult circumstances certainly occur in people’s lives, there are also times when the difficulty arises because of the meaning an individual gives a particular event. First, these negative patterns must be identified, and then they can be adapted to find more positive ways of handling the issue. For example, people who struggle with insomnia may be telling themselves, “well, I’m just a terrible sleeper.” This thought pattern can be making the sleeping difficulty worse. CBT seeks to replace this negative thought with a more positive outlook.
Because CBT addresses a particular problem, it is a short-term therapeutic model. Generally, counselors work with a client for approximately six months to a year. Within that timeframe, many emotional problems can substantially improve with a once-a-week, hour session of CBT.
Identifying the Problem’s Root: Cognitive Distortions
There are a number of negative thought patterns that people can embrace, and these often create or exacerbate challenges in their lives. Thus, CBT does not address issues directly, but it considers how individuals interpret these issues and if they are interpreting them well. All too often people embrace cognitive distortions as they interpret a situation. Cognitive distortions are simply interpreting a situation inaccurately and negatively.
A few examples of cognitive distortions include:
- Polarized thinking occurs when people see the world with extreme categories. It is sometimes called “black and white thinking.” Everything is either wonderful or horrible, irredeemable or perfect, good or evil. There are no shades.
- Blaming occurs when people simply place blame on themselves or others. Someone or something has to be at fault for every negative thing that happens.
- Catastrophizing occurs when people always expect the worst. It is sometimes called “magnifying or minimizing.”
- Control fallacies occurs when people misplace control within their lives. They may feel externally controlled and blame fate, luck, or the universe. They may feel internal control and take responsibility for things they cannot control—such as other people’s feelings.
- Filtering occurs when people look at every situation with a negative lens. They often dismiss anything positive, and they focus exclusively upon the negative.
- Overgeneralization occurs when people take a small factor or event and interpret all of life accordingly. For example, if it rains one year on an individual’s birthday, but they contend that “it always rains on my birthday.”
- Emotional reasoning occurs when people mistake their feelings for reality despite evidence to the contrary.
- Personalization occurs when people interpret other people’s actions as reflections of themselves. For example, if a friend cannot meet for coffee, someone engaging in this cognitive distortion would assume this friend does not value their friendship instead of assuming this friend is simply busy at that time.
- Fairness fallacy occurs when people use an arbitrary scale of fairness to measure life events. Comparing and contrasting as such usually leaves people feeling disappointed.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at Thriveworks Charlotte
If you are ready for a change in thinking and a change in your life, the counselors at Thriveworks Charlotte are ready to meet with you. When you contact our office, you may have your first appointment the following day. Our therapists are credentialed with most insurance panels, and that means we accept most insurance plans. We also offer weekend and evening appointments.
What changes do you want to make? Let’s work together. Contact Thriveworks Charlotte today.