Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
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. Do you find yourself plagued with thoughts like:
- 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 are usually rooted in painful or negative experiences. Most of our strongly held negative beliefs were formed while we were still children and our minds were not mature enough to analyze a situation from a rational, adult perspective. They color the way we see and interact with the world around us.
How we think about our experiences affects how we feel and behave. When we have unhealthy beliefs, we experience negative emotions and often react in ways that are not helpful.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) addresses these beliefs so that we can respond to situations in a healthier manner, thus experiencing more pleasant emotions. It is a short-term, problem-focused form of therapy.
CBT teaches that it is not our circumstances that make us feel and behave negatively. Rather, 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.
CBT can be very effective with:
- 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
- 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.