Our thoughts are powerful. So powerful that you can easily feel happy or sad based on how you perceive a situation. For instance, if you make an investment and lose, you can either take it as a learning experience or fold up all sad and dejected. If you take the situation as a learning experience, you will be happy knowing that next time you will succeed based on the lessons you have learned. However, if you take it negatively, it can easily sink you into depression. That’s because you could start visualizing a life of poverty and hardship based on that situation. This is just one example. There are many other situations where this plays out, but in most cases, the negative thoughts don’t last.
However, in situations where negative thoughts become a constant occurrence and start affecting a person’s day-to-day life, then they may need cognitive behavioral therapy. To help better understand it, here is what you need to know about cognitive behavioral therapy.
The first step to understanding Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is to define it. CBT is a psychosocial intervention aimed at improving mental health. The goal is to negate cognitive distortions such as the scenario discussed above, and equip the individual with coping techniques when they are hit with negative thoughts. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is done through the following steps.
- Identifying the source of the problem
In this step, the therapist talks to the patient in a bid to find out the problem that is behind the distorted thoughts. Could it be issues in adulthood or unresolved issues from childhood? It is only by talking to the patient that the therapist is able to get to the root of the problem.
- Creating patient awareness about the problem
Once the therapist has identified the problem, the next step is to create awareness in the patient about this problem. The goal is to make the patient realize that there is a link between their thoughts, and an event or a series of events in their past. Becoming self-aware is a critical step towards finding a solution to the problems that one is facing.
- Negative thoughts identification
Once the therapist has helped the patient identify the problem, the next step is to help them link their behavior to their negative thoughts. The goal of this stage is to help the patient take a step towards suppressing negative thoughts whenever they are triggered by the stimulus already identified.
- Reshaping the victim’s thinking
Once the problem is fully identified, the next step is to deal with it. In dealing with the problem, therapists use a number of techniques. One of the most common techniques is classical conditioning. This entails training the victim to react positively when the negative stimulus triggers a negative thought process. The stimulus is continually paired with a specific reaction until it becomes second nature to the individual. Check out https://www.anxietyocdbala.com/disorders/cognitive-behavioral-therapy/ to learn more about classical conditioning.
A good understanding of cognitive behavioral therapy can help you live a more fulfilling life. That’s because you can learn how to push aside negative thoughts that may hurt your quality of life.