Cognitive behavior therapy could be called cognitive behavior training
Your thoughts, feelings, behavior, and physical sensations are all interconnected. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a type of talking therapy that aims to address this link. It does this by helping you manage your problems by changing by changing thought and behavioral patterns.
CBT is most commonly used for mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. But it’s also prescribed to patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, phobias, sleeping problems, and eating disorders.
Its even showing promising results for people struggling with long-term conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome. Cognitive behavior therapy is suitable for people of all ages and backgrounds. And a wealth of evidence points to its long-term benefits.
How exactly does CBT work?
Negative emotions, feelings, or behavior can trap you in a vicious circle. If you’re feeling low or depressed, it can breed thoughts of inadequacy. Thus making you fear that your friends don’t like you or you’re not worthy of their friendship.
In turn, these negative thoughts can lead you to withdraw from your social circle. This further fuels the feelings of depression and loneliness.
These negative thinking patterns often stem from childhood. For instance, if your parents weren’t attentive enough or your teachers kept on telling you you’re simply not good enough.
However CBT is unlike other talking therapies. CBT actually focuses on your current feelings and thoughts, rather than your past.
Reprogramming Thought Responses
At its heart, cognitive behavior therapy is based on one a primary idea. How we think about situations affects how we feel and behave.
Our perceptions are often influenced by cognitive distortions. This therapy aims to shift your perceptions. Its goal is to replace negative interpretations of a situation with more positive ones.
A key stage is identifying the harmful thoughts, which in many have become automatic responses due to negative childhood experiences. Then assess whether these truly represent reality. And if not, employ behavioral and cognitive strategies to overcome the negative thoughts.
By breaking your overwhelming problems into smaller parts, CBT makes it easier for you to:
- Tackle any underlying problems,
- Identify your negative patterns
- Improve the way you feel
In turn, this has a significant positive effect on your relationships, helping you lead a fuller and more rewarding life.