I recently attended a seminar on this topic. I found it so very interesting, that I am contemplating to attend more sessions on that topic
What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)??
It is a way of talking about:
- How you think about yourself, the world and other people
- How what you do affects your thoughts and feelings.
CBT can help you to change how you think (“Cognitive”) and what you do (“Behaviour)”. These changes can help you to feel better. Unlike some of the other talking treatments, it focuses on the “here and now” problems and difficulties. Instead of focussing on the causes of your distress or symptoms in the past, it looks for ways to improve your state of mind now.
How does it work?
CBT can help you to make sense of overwhelming problems by breaking them down into smaller parts. This makes it easier to see how they are connected and how they affect you. These parts are:
· A Situation – a problem, event or difficult situation
From this can follow:
- Physical feelings
Each of these areas can affect the others. How you think about a problem can affect how you feel physically and emotionally. It can also alter what you do about it.An example There are helpful and unhelpful ways of reacting to most situations, depending on how you think about them:
||You’ve had a bad day, feel fed up, so go out shopping. As you walk down the road, someone you know walks by and, apparently, ignores you.
||He/she ignored me – they don’t like me
||He/she looks a bit wrapped up in themselves – I wonder if there’s something wrong?
|Low, sad and rejected
||Concerned for the other person
||Stomach cramps, low energy, feel sick
||None – feel comfortable
||Go home and avoid them
||Get in touch to make sure they’re OK
The same situation has led to two very different results, depending on how you thought about the situation. How you think has affected how you felt and what you did. In the example in the left hand column, you’ve jumped to a conclusion without very much evidence for it – and this matters, because it’s led to:
- a number of uncomfortable feelings
- an unhelpful behaviour.
If you go home feeling depressed, you’ll probably brood on what has happened and feel worse. If you get in touch with the other person, there’s a good chance you’ll feel better about yourself. If you don’t, you won’t have the chance to correct any misunderstandings about what they think of you – and you will probably feel worse.
This “vicious circle” can make you feel worse, but CBT can help you to break this vicious circle of altered thinking, feelings and behaviour and put your thoughts into perspective.