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  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is based on the idea  that certain situations trigger false core beliefs  

  • that negatively impact our thoughtsemotions, behavior, and physical reactions.

  • Once we learn how to identify what situations  bring upon such destructive thoughts,  

  • we can practice developing new interpretations  that will then change our pattern of reaction.

  • The therapy is widely used to help people with  phobias, depression, anxieties, or addictions.

  • To show how it works, let's look at Lily,  

  • a teenage girl who hates going to school due  to her fear of being judged and humiliated.

  • In her first session, the therapist tries to  build trust and explains how CBT functions  

  • since the better Lily understands the process, the  more likely it is that the therapy is effective.  

  • The therapist also illustrates how our  brain, in specific situations, follows  

  • a fixed path of reasonwhich gets stronger  after years of having the same thought process.

  • Many of our destructive behaviors are  based on false core beliefsthoughts  

  • that objectively don't make sense. We  acquired these false beliefs when we  

  • were too young to interpret others  correctly. Throughout the therapy,  

  • Lily will try to unlearn these false beliefs  and create new mental pathways that will  

  • replace the false beliefs she holds of  herself with more realistic thoughts.

  • Once Lily understands the processthe counselor begins to ask questions  

  • following the Socratic method, a form  of argumentative conversation that  

  • stimulates critical thinking to draw out  false ideas and underlying assumptions.

  • Would you like to tell me why you  are here today?” Starts the therapist

  • Because I think I'm not normal,” Lily responds. Therapist1: You appear perfectly normal to me,  

  • can you be more specific? Lily1: I think I'm afraid of people

  • Therapist2: So, you are afraid of me? Lily2: No 

  • Therapist3: Do you feel socially insecure? Lily3: I'm not sure what you mean

  • Therapist4: Tell me how you feel about school. Lily4: I'm scared of going because they  

  • think I'm stupid.

  • Throughout the interview, the counselor takes  notes of Lily's answers and identifies the  

  • signs of social anxiety based on a false  core belief - Lily believes she is stupid.

  • For homework, Lily should practice introspectionThe goal: to find out which situations trigger her  

  • negative thoughts. She gets a learning  journal to keep record of all triggers  

  • and other observations, such as self-talk or  interpretations of particular events and people.

  • During the following week, Lily becomes more aware  of her thoughts and the physical reactions they  

  • trigger. By paying attention to her feelingsshe identifies a specific pattern which occurs  

  • every time during math class. The moment her  teacher begins to ask questions her heart  

  • starts racing and her palms get sweaty - she  worries about having to answer the question,  

  • about making a mistake, about looking  dumb in front of all the others.

  • In her second session, Lily shares her  observations and the therapist helps her  

  • realize that her cognitive-behavioral patterns  are false. First, her math grades are great,  

  • so she should feel anything but stupidSecond, she explains that there are  

  • always more interpretations to the same thingWhat to her may look like her "stupid" face,  

  • to others she may just look unhappy about having  to answer. The reason she is afraid of what people  

  • think is a form of social anxiety — a completely  irrational cognitive behavioral response.[5.7]

  • As the sessions continue, the therapist  suggests three practical strategies

  • Through Journaling, Lily records her negative  beliefs and reformulates them into positive  

  • ones she can replace them with. Constructive Self-talk, helps her  

  • to replace a critical voice with a positive one. And she starts exposure exercises, which means  

  • Lilly deliberately puts herself in situations  where she becomes the center of attention.

  • Along the way, the two set goals that  are specific, measurable, achievable,  

  • realistic, and time-based. SMART goals  give her control over how she progresses  

  • thus helping her to gain confidence in herself.

  • Over time and with a lot of practise, her brain  builds new neural pathways that lead to different,  

  • more neutral reactions to the  same old triggers. And one day,  

  • Lily may even enjoy the thrill of speaking  in front of her class. Her interpretation  

  • of the situation is more realistic and  more aligned with those of the others.

  • CBT was initially developed in 1964 by Aaron  Temkin Beck. Beck hypothesised that people's  

  • feelings are determined by the way they interpret  situations, rather than by the situations per se.  

  • About depression he once said: “If our thinking  is bogged down by distorted symbolic meanings,  

  • illogical reasoning and erroneous interpretationswe become, in truth, blind and deaf”.

  • This and all other Sprouts videos  are licensed under creative commons

  • That means teachers from all around the world  can use them in classrooms, online courses,  

  • or to start projectsand today, thousands  already do! To learn how it works, and download  

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is based on the idea  that certain situations trigger false core beliefs  

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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    Summer posted on 2021/09/15
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