Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most used therapeutic strategy in talk therapy sessions. It has been proven to drastically reduce symptoms of mental illness much faster than a non-therapy approach does. Most therapists are now trained in CBT and offer it with their talk-therapy.
If you are struggling with anxiety, depression, relationship issues, stress, or any other mental health concern, CBT can help you. The counselors at Thriveworks Middleburg Heights, OH are trained in CBT and are specialized in everything from child therapy to bipolar disorder. Don’t wait to get help. Reach out to a licensed therapist today.
What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
As you can guess from the name, CBT is all about exploring the link between your cognition (thoughts) and your behavior. By being mindful to why you are responding and making choices, you can become attune to the thoughts surrounding your choices. From there, you can explore the emotions behind the thoughts.
Once you have awareness of why you do, think, and feel the things you do (they’re all connected), you can begin to take steps to creating a healthy link between them all.
CBT has two main steps:
- Identify untrue, negative thought patterns.
- Replace them with positive, true thought patterns.
For example, someone who is struggling with anxiety might go to a counselor for CBT. Together they will identify that the root thought behind much of her anxious emotions is “People will think I’m weird.”
That thought is called a cognitive distortion. They are ways our brain interprets the worlds that are false and can be harmful to our consequence thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
CBT would then look at why you have that thought, how we can disprove it, and what steps we need to take to replace it.
Replacing the untrue thought with a true thought can be tricky. It can take a lot of time and work to undo negative thinking patterns. But that’s what CBT is for- making the process easier.
What Are Cognitive Distortions?
As humans, we have the powerful capacity for choice. We are constantly choosing things based off of our past experiences and what we hope to happen during the future. They are arguably the most powerful tool we have in this life.
Cognitive Distortions can get in the way of that thinking, polluting your thoughts with lies and fallacies that are ultimately untrue. CBT can help combat these ways of thinking so that you can make your decisions based off of the facts and your goals.
Common cognitive distortions are:
- Should Statements: “I should call my family more.” This implies that what you are currently doing isn’t enough and will never be. It is fueled by guilt, which is never a reliable energy source.
- Catastrophizing: “I’m late to work, now I’m going to get fired, and then I’ll go into debt, and then…” This is when you take an objectively small thing and immediately jump to the worst-case situation.
- All-or-Nothing Thinking: “I didn’t get out of bed when my alarm went off so my whole day is wasted.” When you either have to do something perfectly, or not at all. More often than not- doing a little bit of something is better than not doing it at all.
- Emotional Reasoning: “I feel stupid, so I am stupid.” This equates how you feel with your identity. Your emotions are fluid, fickle, and circumstantial. They are important, but they aren’t who you are.
- Mind Reading: “He didn’t text me back, so he hates me.” When you think you know what someone is thinking/feeling based on how they act.
- Global Labeling: “I didn’t submit this report I’m time, so I’m lazy.” Taking one, isolated event and defining yourself based on it.
- Personalization: “It’s my fault my child had an accident on the playground, I should have taught him better!” This distortion leads you to believe that you are entirely responsible for events that were entirely, or at least partially, out of your control.
These are just a few of the many cognitive distortions that exist. Thriveworks Middleburg Heights understand how difficult it can be when your mind is plagued with distortions. CBT can help you clear your mind so you can make your choices clearly.
What Can Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Help Me With?
Research shows CBT is highly effective in treating:
- Eating disorders
- Alcohol and drug use problems
- Stress Management
- Relationship Problems
Cognitive behavioral therapy sounds like a mouthful, but it’s really a simple process that therapists can use to help you gain control of your thoughts and build a healthy, happy future. For more information, or to schedule an appointment with Thriveworks Middleburg Heights today, give us a call at (308) 201-3145.