What if we told you that you could minimize or completely stop your mental health problems with a few changes to your thoughts and actions? Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one way to get control of a variety of mental illnesses as well as everyday stress and chronic pain.
Through a structured program, CBT guides you through the process of recognizing your unhelpful thoughts, changing your perspective, and working through your problems to a positive outcome. By learning the benefits of CBT and utilizing the tools, you can see a huge change in how you are able to live through the good, bad and ugly in your life!
What is CBT?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based, popular talk therapy used to teach and practice tools that stop negative and inaccurate thinking and behaviors. Not only are they harmful to begin with, but unhelpful thoughts can make an already difficult situation even harder.
The first professional to practice CBT was a psychoanalysis practitioner named Aaron Beck. While he worked with patients he noticed an internal dialogue that many had and changed the way he practiced to better suit this phenomenon. He studied the link between thoughts and feelings and created a therapy to pick out the negatives and teach patients tools to fix it.
Some things you learn through CBT:
- Develop an awareness of automatic thoughts
- Distinguish between facts and irrational thoughts
- Understanding of how past negative experiences impact current feelings
- Stop Fearing the worst
- Establish attainable goals
- Stop blaming yourself
- Focus on how things are instead of how things should be
These among other lessons are intertwined within the structure of this therapy. CBT can be used for anxiety, depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and much more.
How CBT Can Help?
In the 1970s, in Beck’s practice, he was the first to propose the impact of cognitive distortions in depression. He later developed the program and noted it should be used with patients with a variety of mental illnesses.
There are 17 cognitive distortions including:
- Mind Reading Based on assumptions
- Labeling Assigning negative traits to yourself
- Blaming Focusing on another person as the source of your negative feelings without taking responsibility
- Unfair Comparisons Focusing on others who are doing “better”
Many of us have experienced these cognitive distortions, and unfortunately, they tend to manifest and negatively impact our feelings and actions. This is where CBT comes into play!
Thankfully Beck provided clinicians with a way to teach and work with patients to stop these bad feelings and manage their problems and stress. In CBT, cognitive and behavioral techniques are taught to stop those cognitive distortions.
There are many techniques, but to combat the above cognitive distortions (mind-reading, labeling, blaming, unfair comparisons) a clinician might use these techniques in particular:
- Identify the negative thoughts – Patient will self-monitor and record their thoughts when they have a negative feeling
- Categorize the negative thought – Classifies the thought into a cognitive distortion category
- What is the underlying assumption – Clinician discusses “if-then” statements, for example, “If I don’t get the job, then I will be a failure”
- What is the evidence – The patient will list the evidence they have supporting the negative thought
This therapy is relatively short-term from 5 to 20 sessions. Depending on the situation and disorder(s), patients and clinicians will determine the appropriate structure of therapy. With a new perspective and tools learned through CBT, the patient can manage their problems head-on as they come.
Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.— Buddha
Try CBT Today!
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be done in person or through our Mooditude App. Our app uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy coupled with tracking and journaling tools to determine what works for you and your mental health (and what doesn’t)!
By having your own clinically backed CBT app in your pocket, not only you will have the courses, but you can also refer to the mood tracker, coping activities, journal, exercises, and meditations at any time of the day. Our app is based on cognitive behavioral therapy which has been shown to be an effective treatment for depression. You’ll discover how to change your thinking so you can reframe the thoughts that fuel your depression