Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is an “evidence based treatment” – meaning there are decades of research showing it works! It is short term, goal focused therapy. CBT believes the way you think about things directly impacts how you feel and what you do. CBT works to help you identify unhelpful thoughts (that happen automatically) and change them to more helpful thoughts. For example, it’s unhelpful to always think “I can never trust anyone.” You’re likely stressed and overwhelmed if you never trust anyone to help you or be there for you. It is more helpful to learn to follow that thought up with “I can learn to trust some people with some things.” You can learn more about CBT here: https://beckinstitute.org/get-in…/what-is-cognitive-therapy/
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps you learn how to Change ‘What you Do’ and ‘How you Think’
A simple scenario to illustrate how our thoughts affect our actions and feelings:
Situation: You wave to a friend across the hall and she doesn’t respond.
How you Think: She is ignoring me, She must be upset with me, I must have done something wrong to upset her.
How you Feel: worried, anxious
What you Do: you might avoid your friend out of shame or anxiety.
Instead let’s come up with alternate thoughts and see how they can change our thoughts, feelings, and actions:
How you Think: She must have not heard me or seen me.
How you Feel: fine, good
What you Do: I’ll call her later to say hi, next time I’ll speak louder to try and get her attention.
In the first scenario you are worried and lonelier (because you’re avoiding your friend). In the second scenario you feel good and are still socializing (because you feel confident in reaching out to your friend later). Of course, all of this is easier said than done. CBT can help you unearth deep rooted beliefs about yourself that makes it harder for you to believe or ‘buy into’ the alternate thoughts. It also provides you with tools to practice to help you be able to come up with alternate thoughts and thus begin to make changes to how you think and what you do.