A lot of folks have heard of a therapy approach called CBT, but don’t really know what it is. They’ve just heard that it’s good for dealing with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The psychologist Albert T. Beck created it during the 1960s, and it’s widely recognized as one of the most effective treatments for a wide variety of mental health issues. CBT has been further developed through the years, and now we have what’s called the “third wave” of CBT, which places a greater emphasis on mindfulness and on modifying behaviors.
The basic idea behind CBT is that our thoughts (which include our deeply held beliefs) have a great deal of impact on our emotions and on our behaviors. So, if we want to change how we behave and how we feel, then we need change how we think.
To be clear, we all experience what is commonly referred to as “negative thoughts,” and it’s quite normal. What CBT can help us to do is spend less time focusing on these thoughts, and help us to consciously direct our attention to the thoughts that are useful to us. It would be an impossible endeavor to fully eliminate all “negative” thoughts and feelings, and frankly there would be unwanted side effects from doing so. These “negative” thoughts and feelings (as uncomfortable as they may be) actually serve important functions for us. With that being said, CBT can lessen the debilitating impact that these thoughts and feelings sometimes have on us. Additionally, CBT can help us to identify what our motivating values are, and it can help us to think and behave in ways that move us in the direction of our values.
Much of CBT involves becoming aware of what we currently focus on, identifying alternatives which would be useful for us to focus on, and then redirecting our attention to those things which we have chosen. All these things are easier said than done of course, but this is where I come in! I will work with you to identify and work through your limitations, so that you can move forward and reach your Next Level.