Counseling in Chesterfield, VA—Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Thoughts have significant power within people’s lives. The little things we tell ourselves usually shape the way we feel about a particular situation and the way we respond to it. When facing a challenge, have you ever told yourself something like… “I feel so guilty. I must have really made a big mistake this time.” Or what about… “My friend said she can’t go to the movies tonight with me. I must not be that fun to hang out with.” Most people have told themselves something along these lines. These are called cognitive distortions—thoughts that are not true and that put a negative spin upon reality. These cognitive distortions can exacerbate difficulties that people experience and even create problem where there were none. However, these cognitive distortions can be changed. Many people are learning how to fight the negativity, and they are doing so with the help of a counselor and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

“I can’t change the direction of the wind,
but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” —Jimmy Dean

All too often, people cannot adjust their circumstances, but they can always adjust their own thinking. This process may be the most powerful way to make changes in one’s life. CBT shows people how to adjust their own thinking—making substantial life changes by first changing their perspective on life. Cognitive behavioral therapy may allow…

  1. Clients and therapists to establish a mutual-working relationship. While therapists understand cognitive distortions and healthy thinking, clients are experts on their own thought patterns. Together, clients and therapists work together for meaningful change.
  2. Clients to discover how much power they have to control their own thoughts, feelings, and actions.
  3. Clients to work through a practical challenge—giving them real-life experience with adjusting their own thinking.
  4. Clients to build cognitive and emotional skills that they can use for the rest of their lives.

The staff at Thriveworks Chesterfield specializes in CBT, and our therapists and counselors have helped many clients make substantial changes in their lives by first adjusting their thinking.

Examples of Cognitive Distortions

What people think about a situation directly affects their response. Untrue, negative thoughts often lead to unhelpful actions that can sabotage an individual’s best-interest. In order to change these cognitive distortions to more positive, true thoughts, people must first learn to recognize them. A handful of cognitive distortions are the most common, so becoming familiar with these may allow people to more easily recognize them in their own lives. Examples include…

  • Emotional reasoning cannot distinguish between an internal feeling and an external reality. For example, many spouses of addicts feel guilty for their loved one’s compulsive behaviors even though they are in no way responsible for another’s choice. The feeling of guilt does not automatically correlate to the reality of guilt.
  • Filtering sees life through a lens that separates out anything positive or beneficial. It consigns the good to a category of unimportant. People, therefore, only see the negative.
  • Catastrophizing anticipates the worst possible outcome for every situation.
  • Fallacy of fairness uses an arbitrary measure to compare and contrast one’s life with another’s instead of measuring one’s own life for its unique merits.
  • Blaming seeks to find responsibility and fault in every situation, even when there is none or when doing so is not beneficial. People become obsessed with blame.
  • Polarized or “black and white” thinking does not allow for grey or shades. It sees life as all-or-nothing. Everything is fantastic or terrible. People are good or evil. There is no in between.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: How Does It Work?

The goal of CBT is to replace cognitive distortions with more positive thought patterns. Within their therapy sessions, clients may…

  • Learn the different between emotions and thoughts. People may experience feelings and thinking as the same, but learning the difference is key to being able to exert more control over them.
  • Increase their own awareness of thoughts and feelings. CBT especially focuses upon how an individual’s emotions and thoughts influence each other and influence their actions. Counselors may assign clients homework that include self-reflection exercises to increase their self-awareness.
  • Allow people to assess their thoughts and feelings from a critical distance. This evaluation can allow people to recognize potential cognitive distortions.
  • Practice cognitive and emotional skills that will help people adjust their thinking before cognitive distortions escalate to actions.

Appointments for CBT at Thriveworks Chesterfield

One of the benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy is that it can be utilized is a wide array of circumstances that people face. Counselors have used CBT to treat…

  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Self-destructive habits
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Drug and/or alcohol addiction
  • Child and adolescent issues
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Anger management
  • Self-mutilation
  • General health issues
  • Relationship issues

What is happening in your life right now? Whether the particular challenge you are facing is on this list or not, consider cognitive behavioral therapy. Changing your perspective often leads to significant and important life changes.

If you are ready to meet with a therapist, Thriveworks Chesterfield has appointments available for CBT. When you call our office, one of our scheduling specialists will answer and help you make an appointment. Most new clients have their first session within 24 hours of their call. We also work with most insurance companies and offer evening and weekend sessions. There are no waitlists, but Thriveworks Chesterfield hopes to give each client the help they need—when they need it.

Call Thriveworks Chesterfield today for an appointment.

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  • 9846 Lori Rd., Suite 201
    Chesterfield , VA 23832

  • Mon-Fri:8AM-9PM