Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a short-term type of treatment that helps a variety of conditions. In this treatment, people learned essential skills to help them cope with negative thinking. It can help people with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, or addictions.
One aspect of CBT that we can say with certainty is that it helps people manage their negative thinking. Many mental health disorders include the symptom of pervasive negative thinking. It can cause the affected person to question themselves and feel worse than they already do. For example, a person who is depressed already feels hopeless.
Then, their negative thought patterns worsen the depression. CBT helps that person look at their negative thoughts and reframe them. Here’s how cognitive behavior therapy helps a variety of people.
What are negative thought patterns?
Negative thought patterns are pervasive ideas that flood a person’s head. They can be distressing and characterized as intrusive thoughts. Sometimes people with anxiety will obsess over the same negative thought and not know how to let go.
When a person is depressed, they think all sorts of negative things about themselves and the world around them. The individual feels that matters are hopeless, and when they keep focusing on that hopelessness, their depression gets worse.
Thoughts like “These feelings will never end” or “what’s the point?” keep going through the depressed person’s mind. They don’t know how to stop them, but that’s where CBT can help.
CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) uses thought records to help people record their automatic thoughts. These ideas are usually full of cognitive distortions. Cognitive distortions are irrational thought patterns, which keep many people stagnant in depression. There are ten common cognitive distortions. An example of one is black and white thinking (or all or nothing thinking).
When you use words like “always” or “never,” the chances are that you’re engaging in black and white thinking. Let’s say that you fail one exam. You say, “I’m always going to fail my tests.” The chances are you won’t fail every test you take in your life, but thinking about it in black and white will keep you feel bad about the situation.
When you use a thought record, you write down the automatic thought: “I’m always going to fail my tests.” Then you identify the feeling associated with the thought. Ask yourself how you feel when you say the thought aloud.
You may feel sad or angry. Then you identify the cognitive distortion: black and white thinking. Lastly, reframe the thought: “I may have failed this time, but next time I have a test, I will work hard to pass it.” That’s a healthy way to reframe negative thinking. CBT can help people work through their negative thought patterns and start thinking in a healthy way.
Can you change your thoughts?
You can’t change what thoughts run through your mind, but you can change your reaction to them.
One of the principles of CBT is that your thoughts and feelings are distinct from one another. You can change your responses to your thoughts. You don’t have to go down a line where you were thinking negatively. You can observe your thoughts without judgment and look at them differently. Just because you believe something doesn’t make it accurate.
Additionally, thinking something doesn’t make it happen. Thoughts can be powerful, but you don’t have to let them control your entire life. Talking to behavior therapy can help you learn to observe your thoughts and pick and choose which ones are productive and which ones that you can put to the side.
Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy right for you?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an ideal type of treatment for people who are struggling with negative thinking. Individuals who are anxious or depressed can benefit from CBT. Additionally, those with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder have demonstrated that if it’s from using cognitive behavior therapy.
CBT techniques help a person observe their thinking and make changes. Here, you can learn more about cognitive behavioral therapy techniques. If you are interested in seeing a CBT therapist, you can work with one online or in your local area. It could be an excellent treatment for you if you’re looking to change the way that you think and subsequently change how you feel.