Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and You: How to Change your Thinking, Behavior – and Your Life
Bouncing Back from Stress, Depression & Anxiety with CBT
Do you want to start bouncing back from depression, anxiety, stress-related problems like insomnia, or another issue? Does the idea of sitting around in therapy for years feel a bit sad, and you want quicker results that will make a noticeable difference in the way you function at work or in relationships? Or do you want to kick an addiction, fear or phobia once and for all? Then take a look at Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.
What to Expect from CBT One-to-One Sessions, Group Therapy & Self Help
Research shows CBT is as effective as medication for tackling mental health problems like depression. The jury’s out on whether it’s as effective as longer-term therapy, but it definitely is more cost-effective and of course, different therapies are a match for different people. You can do CBT one-to-one with a therapist, as self-help, or in group therapy, which is a cheaper option than individual therapy and has the added bonus of feedback from other group members. With Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), you’ll have a close look at your habits of thinking and behavior around the issue you want to resolve. Your CBT therapist will then devise a program with you to tackle this through learning and practising new thoughts and behaviors. CBT gets you out of your thinking ‘rut’ and lets you start to imagine new possibilities for yourself. It helps you to break down problems that seem huge and impossible, into smaller parts that you can more easily deal with. You’ll realise that you really can apply for a job that scares you because it stretches you, or end a relationship that’s bad news – you don’t have to stay stuck. You will note how past events shape your thinking or behaviors, but not get too stuck into it – CBT is a very practical therapy. A course of CBT therapy is generally short – 6 week to 6 months – and the sessions weekly, for 50 minutes or an hour. You’ll get ‘homework’ to help you learn to apply a set of fundamentals that work in any situation, even for years after your therapy’s ended. Pretty empowering stuff.
CBT Therapist-Hunting & Self Help Resources
A good bit of research never goes astray when it comes to finding a good therapist. To find a CBT therapist near you, try this directory. Ask around for recommendations and take your time. You can have a no-obligation, often free-of-charge or low cost meeting with a therapist to assess whether you will work well together. Look for a good rapport and a sense that this person can listen to and understand you, as well as a good understanding of the issues you are facing. Then when you’ve chosen your therapist, commit and follow through – even if sometimes it’s tough to look so deeply at yourself and your habits and to change. Sometimes change is uncomfortable, but it means you’re growing and becoming more of who you can be. If you want to try some CBT at home as self-help, here’s a resource to try.
Changing Things in The Here & Now – Getting out of your Downer Thought-Loops
CBT is a behavioral psychotherapy focused on the here and now, which means it focuses on changing how you think and behave, rather than delving deeply into your past history. CBT theory holds that it’s the meanings we give to events that cause us to feel upset – rather than the events themselves. Your thoughts are powerful, and can stop you seeing anything that doesn’t fit in with your beliefs about what’s true. For example, you might have a thought that you are useless in relationships, or that ‘bad things always happen to me’ – so you come into new relationships on the wrong foot, interpreting everything that happens in a negative light. Soon, the thoughts become self-fulfilling because you’re not able to see what’s really going on, and to solve any real problems constructively. The ‘cognitive’ bit and the ‘behavioral’ bit influence each other, because, of course, your thoughts and actions are connected. How we think influences how we behave – so noticing and then changing your ‘thought loop’ can change your behavior.
Rats, Depression Research & CBT Today
Cognitive-behavioral therapy was influenced by behavioral psychology and the research of Skinner in the 1950’s, who did research on rats and found out about positive and negative reinforcement of behavior. It’s come a long way since then. Dr Aaron T Beck formed Cognitive Therapy (CT) or Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in the 1960’s when he found that psychoanalytic concepts of depression was not supported by his research. Automatic thoughts were found to be a key feature of depression – these thoughts featured negative ideas about self, the world, and/or the future. When Dr Beck taught depressed patients to pin-point these automatic thoughts and take a look at them, they were able to improve their thinking and start to feel better – and behave in a more effective way in their lives. Since then, studies have shown CT to be effective with a lot of different disorders. Dr Beck’s work has been expanded by today’s researchers and theorists, giving rise to other forms of cognitive therapy have evolved. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is now one of the most popular forms of talk therapy.
Why is it Ripe and Ready?
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is super empowering and can give you a fresh start in life – helping you let go of stress, depression, anxiety and other problems that are holding you back.