Cognitive behavioral therapy techniques and are they useful? (CBT) is a form of therapy that focuses on exploring the relationship among the person’s thinking, feeling and direct behaviors. A therapist utilizing CBT actively will work with a client to help uncover the unhealthy thought patterns. They will assist the client in seeing how they are directly caused. Understanding how these thoughts are destructive is key.
Addressing these altered thought patterns allow the therapist and client to work collaboratively. Together you and the therapist will change the irrational thinking. This leads to producing healthy thoughts which in return affects the behaviors. For example: If the thought is “I am never going to be good enough at my job”, the replaced thought becomes, “I am capable and worthy of having this job and able to excel at what I do.”
A helpful technique is to journal and discuss with your therapist the negative self statements you tell yourself. This is important to keep track during the week. It is helpful when you come to therapy. You will have concrete statements to work with. Your therapist can work through them with you. This helps to get to the root of the problem. Once you can get them from head to paper your better able to see that they are what I refer to as “crazy making” statements.
Once locating the root of the statement, fear, depression, anxiety, conditioned beliefs, etc, write a positive self statement. Replace it with a new one. Once you have worked on these in therapy, you will be able to do it on your own. When you start to hear the negative self statement creeping back into your head, you will have time to remember it is faulty thinking. You will have practiced replacing these negative thoughts with positive ones. This is now getting hard wired into your brain. Relief is on the way.
Examples– “I am a failure”. This changes to “I am capable and anything I think I am failing at is just an area of life I have yet to master.”
“I am always depressed and it will never get better.” This changes to “Life has it’s ups and downs but depression does not define me.”
Instead of walking into a work meeting and instantly finding what is wrong with the atmosphere, try something new. Train yourself to be mindful and find three things that are positive about what is around you. Do this as quickly as possible and you will be amazed at how much better you feel. Use tools that are all around you. Ask a close friend to help remind you when he/she sees your thinking heading into “stinky thinking”. Set up reminders on your phone to alert you at different times of the day to write down things that you are perceiving differently.
At the completion of your day, make it a point to sit down and journal. Write about those things you are most thankful and grateful for. Recording your positive thoughts and sharing them with another, helps to form healthier associations. You are creating new pathways in your mind. No longer will you wake up dreading the day. You will wake up in anticipation of a wonderful day ahead.
Disappointing circumstances and situations are just a normal part of everyday life. They do not define you and control your whole day. Your response to these situations determines your ability for a great day. Stop beating yourself up and blaming yourself, just feel the disappointment. Know that you cannot change the circumstances outside of yourself. Understanding that the only thing you can change is yourself and how you perceive the outside world. Work on seeing what is within your control.
Below is a list of problem areas cognitive behavioral therapy techniques are effective in treating.
Start the journey today of real self exploration. Do not be a prisoner to your mind. Learn to master your thoughts. You are not your mind. You are a powerful, wonderful spirit with great experiences that await you. Call today for a free phone session to learn more about the benefits of counseling.