Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Sometimes your thoughts feel like a runaway freight train that you are incapable of stopping. You may have an inner critic that is always putting you down or speaking negative thoughts into your head. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be helpful, if you find yourself plagued with negative thoughts. Rachele Epp is an experienced Cognitive Behavioral Therapist in Fort Myers.
Common Negative Beliefs Addressed with CBT
- I’m not good enough.
- I’m a failure.
- I’m alone.
- I’m unwanted/unlovable.
- I’m unworthy.
- I should have known better.
- It’s my fault.
- I’m weak/powerless.
- I’m defective.
- I’m unsafe?
- I can’t trust others.
All of us have negative beliefs about ourselves that aren’t true, but they FEEL true. These negative beliefs usually stem from painful or negative experiences. Most of our strongly held negative beliefs were formed while we were still children. They color the way we see and interact with the world around us.
Our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all connected. When something happens to us, we have a thought or belief about it. This affects how we feel, which then determines how we act. Negative beliefs cause negative emotions, which often results in negative behaviors.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a highly researched therapy. More than 2,000 studies have shown its effectiveness in treating a wide variety of mental health issues. CBT helps people change their inaccurate and unhelpful beliefs so that they can respond to situations in a healthier manner, thus experiencing more pleasant emotions.
We may think that our circumstances make us feel and behave negatively. But actually, it is our beliefs about a situation that determines how we will feel and behave. This is why two people can have the same experience but respond in vastly different ways.
Issues That Can Be Effectively Treated with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Panic attacks
- Obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Chronic pain
- Eating disorders
- Anger management issues
Common CBT Techniques
- Learning coping skills
- Relaxation and breathing exercises
- Tracking and recording thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
- Challenging negative cognitions and replacing them with healthier beliefs
- Practicing new behaviors and ways of thinking
In CBT we will identify specific thinking errors and find other ways to respond. I will give you specific tools and skills to help you track your experience and then begin to change negative thinking patterns. With practice, you will find that your thinking will begin to change, and healthier ways of responding will come more naturally.
We won’t just sit and talk about your problem with CBT. We will work together to set specific goals for behavioral change. I will give you specific tools and skills to reach those goals, which you will practice between therapy sessions. This ensures that every session is productive.
If you or someone you know would benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy, please contact me today for a free 15-minute phone consult.