Everyone has felt stuck at some point in their lives. It is normal to face a setback or obstacle that feels overwhelming. In those times, negative, untrue thoughts can plague people. Maybe you have thought, “I feel devastated. How can I move forward?” Many people struggle with negative thinking, and unfortunately, these cognitive distortions do not stay in people’s heads. Thinking about reality in an untrue, negative way can lead to unhelpful choices. The reality is that people always have options for moving forward, even when they feel like they do not. Many people are learning the power of adjusting these negative thoughts and replacing them with positive, truthful thinking patterns. They are going to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help them learn how.
“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.”
Unfortunately, switching from a negative thinking pattern to a positive one is not as easy as flipping a switch and turning a light on. People have significant control over their own thoughts and feelings, but channeling them toward truth and positivity takes skill. These skills can be learned, however, and many therapists are able to teach their clients how to do so through CBT.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a proven therapeutic technique that has been utilized to help people facing a wide array of challenges. Research has shown that CBT can help individuals implement significant and long-term changes within their lives. In particular, clients who struggled with anxiety and depression experienced as much symptom relief through CBT as they did with medication. CBT focuses on equipping individuals with the cognitive and emotional skills they need to face the challenges in their lives.
Counselors utilize CBT to treat emotional, social, psychological, and relational difficulties such as…
- Relationship issues
- Mood swings
- Anger management
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Self-destructive habits
- Drug and/or alcohol addiction
- General health issues
- Child and adolescent issues
The counselors and therapists at Thriveworks Knoxville offer cognitive behavioral therapy, and we have seen the transformation that can happen in a client’s life. When they change their thinking, clients often change their lives.
What Exactly Is CBT?
The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy is not to change people’s circumstances, although that is often a by-product of the work people do. Instead, CBT’s focus is upon how people are responding to their circumstances.
During a typical CBT session, clients will present a real-life challenge they are facing. CBT is practical to its core. The therapist and client work together to process this particular challenge. While people may or may not be able to change the scenario, they can change their own perspectives. Clients and therapists work to identify cognitive distortions—untrue and negative thoughts that are holding the client back. After these are identified, they can be replaced with truthful, positive thoughts.
For example, consider Amy. She comes to a CBT session and lets her therapist know that she did not sleep last night. Insomnia has plagued her in the past and seems to be flaring again. Amy is discouraged and tells her therapist, “I don’t know if I will ever sleep normally again.” Amy and her therapist examine this thought. Does one bad night mean Amy will never sleep again? No, not at all. Will this thought help her sleep tonight? No. Instead, Amy is challenged to think of something true about her insomnia. Amy knows that she has been working hard to stick to her sleep routine. There have good days and bad days, but overall, Amy’s insomnia is improving. Amy and her therapist work on focusing Amy’s attention upon this positive, true thought.
Problematic Cognitive Distortions
Untrue, negative thoughts have a name—cognitive distortions. These can exacerbate an already difficult circumstance, and at times, cognitive distortions can create problems that did not previously exist. The first step toward changing these is usually to become aware of them. Cognitive distortions that commonly plague people may include…
- Polarized thinking that sees the world as either-or, black-and-white, or all-or-nothing.
- Blaming seeks out fault and blame in every situation, even though at times no one is to blame.
- Catastrophizing over-emphasizes the negative and expects the worst possible outcome for every situation.
- Control fallacies mean people assume too much control over a situation or refuse to accept control that is rightfully their—possibly seeing themselves as victims of the universe, luck, and/or fate.
- Filtering dismisses any positivity so that people also see what may be wrong or what is negative.
- Overgeneralization uses a one-time experience or event to formulate a universal principle.
- Emotional reasoning does not delineate between external reality and people’s internal feelings. Just because someone feels incompetent does not mean they are.
- Fairness fallacy uses a subjective standard for fairness to compare and contrast oneself with others.
Thriveworks Knoxville Offers Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
If you are ready for a more positive perspective on your life, consider cognitive behavioral therapy. Thriveworks Knoxville has appointments available, and our staff is experienced, trained, and caring.
When you reach out to our office, you may be meeting with your therapist the following day. We also accept most insurance plans and offer weekend and evening sessions. However, we never put our clients on a waitlist.
Contact Thriveworks Knoxville today. Let’s work together for a more positive outlook.