Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Westminster, CO—Counselors and Therapists
Life is full of challenges, and everyone feels overwhelmed from time to time. It’s normal. When you have been in a tight spot, have you ever thought to yourself, “I feel stuck. I do not have any options.” More likely than not, you have because most people have. People tell themselves things that are untrue and negative at times, and this negative self-talk is called a cognitive distortion. In the best-case scenario, cognitive distortions make hard situations more difficult. In the worst-case scenario, cognitive distortions create problems that do not exist in reality. In either case, many people are learning that they cannot always change their circumstances or other people, but they can confront their own cognitive distortions that may be exacerbating an already challenging situation. They are reaching out for help from a counselor and participating in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
When people are ready for change in their lives, often that process begins with themselves. CBT is a therapeutic model that guides people on how to grow personally. In research studies, clients who took part in CBT were able to make long-term and significant changes in their thinking and their behavior. In particular, people who had depression and anxiety experienced a similar amount of relief with CBT as they did with medication. CBT’s focus is on self-change. Individuals are empowered with emotional skills and self-awareness. Thus, clients who participate in CBT often experience its benefits well after their counseling finishes.
“Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.” —Carol Burnett
The therapists and counselors at Thriveworks Westminster provide cognitive behavioral therapy. Out staff has watched their clients experience personal growth that led to positive overall change in their lives.
How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?
CBT is designed to work on a specific emotional, social, psychological, or relational problem that an individual may be experiencing. It requires individuals to be proactive as they examine a particular challenge in their lives. CBT does not address the situation, but it seeks to adjust how people think about that situation.
Counselors can use Cognitive Behavior Therapy as a treatment for a variety of problems and disorders, including…
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Relationship issues
- Self-destructive habits
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Anger management
- Drug and/or alcohol addiction
- Mood swings
- Child and adolescent issues
- General health issues
The goal of CBT is to adjust an individual’s cognitive distortions about a particular situation. For example, Karen struggles with anxiety. A few days ago, Karen’s friend said she wanted to meet up for coffee and would text her a few times that might work. Karen has not heard from her friend yet, and she is feeling anxious. Karen is telling herself that her friend does not like being with her and that Karen must have done something to upset her friend—even though Karen has no idea why her friend has not texted. If Karen were to go to CBT, she and her counselor would work at identifying her cognitive distortions and replacing them with positive, true thoughts. For example, Karen can remind herself that her friend may have had a busy week and that when Karen feels anxious, it does not necessarily mean she has done something wrong.
Common Cognitive Distortions
If people interpret a situation negatively and inaccurately, they are probably experiencing a cognitive distortion. These are negative thought patterns that often leave people feeling stuck. Cognitive distortions may also lead people to act on inaccurate interpretations of a situation. A significant task of CBT is to help individuals identify and replace these cognitive distortions with healthier, more positive thoughts. Common cognitive distortions include…
- “Black and white” or polarized thinking puts everything into an either-or category. The world is either horrifying or perfect. People are either evil or good. There are no shades, and there is no grey.
- Filtering strains out any positive realities and denies or minimizes them. Therefore, people only see the bad, the negative, and the adverse. Every situation is seen through a negative lens.
- Catastrophizing expects the worst within every situation.
- Control fallacies can be internal control where people take a burden upon themselves that does not belong to them—such as when children blame themselves for their parents’ divorce. External control seeks to blame a higher power, fate, and/or luck instead of accepting responsibility.
- Overgeneralization takes one experience and extrapolates a universal principle that may or may not be true.
- Personalization occurs when people interpret other people’s actions as reflections upon themselves. If a significant other does not call, then she must be uninterested in the relationship.
- Blaming is always seeking to find fault in something or someone.
- Fairness fallacy occurs when people evaluate all of life according to their own (often arbitrary) measure for fairness. They spend time comparing themselves and their experiences to others.
- Emotional reasoning equates people’s emotions with an external reality. For example, just because someone feels guilty does not mean they are guilty.
CBT with the Counselors at Thriveworks Westminster
Stop and think about your own life for a moment. How are you responding to its difficulties and challenges? Did any of the cognitive distortions listed above sound familiar to you? If so, you are not alone. If you are ready to adjust those distortions, Thriveworks Westminster is ready to help.
We offer evening and weekend sessions, but we do not have a waitlist. We also accept many forms of insurance.
Positive change is possible. Contact Thriveworks Westminster today.