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Making sense of CBT. A guide to what CBT is and how you can decide whether it's best for you.
If you living with a mental health problem, it can be hard to know
which way to turn or what to do to feel better.
You might go to your GP and one of the first things they might offer is CBT which stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
It combines Cognitive Therapy - examining the things you think
and Behavioral Therapy - examining the things you do.
The word therapy might make you think of laying on a couch talking to a man with spectacles and a
beard about your childhood while he analyzes your dreams.
But CBT is actually a very practical type of talking therapy which focuses on goals and focuses
mostly on the present day and things that are affecting you in your life now.
The theory behind CBT is that the way we think about situations can affect the
way we feel and behave. It does this by dealing with how your thoughts affect
your feelings and behaviors and teaches you coping skills for dealing with
different problems. For example you might make a simple mistake like burning the dinner.
This might make you think bad things and it might make you feel
worthless and inadequate which could lead you to do things like withdrawing,
snapping at your family, or trying to avoid things which you think might go wrong.
Or perhaps you've been invited out for drinks with some friends and you start
thinking negative things. This might make you feel anxious and scared which might
make you do something like saying no to the invite, avoiding your friends
completely or using drink and drugs to cope with the situation.
Over time, whether it's years weeks or months, this cycle of thoughts, feelings and behaviors
may have happened so many times it's become like a habit.
You start avoiding situations more and more or automatically blame yourself if
something goes wrong and the more you do these things,
the worse it can get.
A CBT therapist will help you break this cycle and figure out what sorts of
negative feelings, thoughts and behaviors might be contributing to the problems
you are experiencing. They will help you deal with your negative thinking and
help you change your behavior. Both of which will lead to an improvement in your mood.
CBT can be helpful for people with nearly every diagnoses you can think of
and can be delivered through one-on-one sessions, in groups, self-help books,
online or through a CD-rom.
That doesn't mean that CBT works for everyone though. Some people struggle with it because they find it just too hard to
talk about their feelings. CBT is usually quite a short-term treatment and so you
may find that your problems are too complex to deal with in the time.
It can also be quite hard work. Your therapist will probably set you homework
and you have to really practice the skills they teach you to see a difference in how you're feeling.
If you don't think CBT is the right treatment for you, you should be
able to talk to your GP about what alternatives there are.
The Mind website also has lots of information about the different treatments that are available
for a wide range of mental health problems
and Mind's Infoline line can also talk to you about what you might find helpful.
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What is CBT? | Making Sense of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

136 Folder Collection
Angel Hsu published on September 22, 2019    Karen translated    Evangeline reviewed
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