Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a therapy model used to treat both anxiety and depression in clients. While medications can be used in conjunction with CBT, the heart of this treatment is through working with a therapist in ongoing counseling to address behaviors and learn new ways to react to stressful situations. The goal is to learn coping mechanisms, but also to retrain the brain from negative thought patterns to a thought process that is more productive.
Discovering the Problem and Coming Up with a Solution
CBT is a solution-based therapy, and the first step is discovering what the problem is. Once you can identify the problem causing you negative thoughts, you begin working with your therapist about identifying a solution. A therapist will help you figure out what your negative thought patterns are through talk therapy, asking you questions and having you describe your feelings or thoughts when facing emotional stress.
Writing Self-Statements Begins the Process of Thought Training
CBT helps patients deal with stress more effectively. Your therapist may ask you to begin writing self-statements, which are statements that help change your negative thoughts. For example, if your negative thought is "Nothing ever goes right in my life, everything sucks", a useful self-statement be "Sometimes life has ups and downs. Today I'm feeling overwhelmed but it will get better." A self-statement identifies that the problem exists, but attempts to look at the negative thought in a more positive light.
A Positive Attitude Starts Somewhere
Another useful CBT technique is to walk in a room and identify a positive thought. Look for something that you find enjoyable, even if it is the way the sunlight hits a plant, or a smile from a stranger. Look for opportunities that may you feel positive about the world around you instead of focusing on the things that bother you. It's easy to get caught up "the weather sucks, it's freezing" type of mentality, and adopting a more positive attitude is a way to obtain a better outlook.
If you are suffering from anxiety or depression, and you want to try and break out of your negative thought patterns, CBT is an excellent option for you. While you can still take medications to ease your symptoms, you will benefit from learning about what triggers you and about better ways to think about the stresses in your life. You can develop strategies that will help you have a more positive attitude throughout your life.
I knew that I loved my husband, but I was having a very difficult time liking him most days. My husband acted much like an overgrown teenager expecting me to do everything for him. He couldn't be bothered to put his trash in the trash can, or put his dirty laundry in the hamper or even carry his dirty dishes to the sink so that I could wash them. After about 18 years of this behavior, I finally had to find someone to go to for help. We started seeing a counselor to try to find a way for me to like him again. It has helped some. My blog will show you a few ways that counseling can help you like your spouse as much as you love him or her.