WHY COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY (CBT)?
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is based on the idea that cognitions (what we think or believe) play an important role in the way we feel and behave. Distorted thinking (expecting the worst, false beliefs, self-blame, demandingness etc.) is often the root cause underlying most anxiety, depression and distressful symptoms. According to CBT we can be relieved of distressing symptoms if we can modify the dysfunctional thoughts and beliefs that contribute to them. CBT sessions are usually more structured and active-directive compared to ‘traditional’ therapies where the therapist takes a more non-directive and passive stance. Past traumas and childhood experiences are also dealt with by working through distorted thinking and self-defeating behaviours which cause distress.
CBT is indicated for the treatment of general anxiety, post-traumatic stress, panic disorder, social phobia, depression, anger management, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, addictions, bipolar and schizophrenia.
A FEW EXAMPLES OF DISTORTED THINKING:
Anxious people typically expect the worst to happen and constantly worry about future misfortunes “what if ….”
Depressed people often rate themselves negatively and believe they have failed, are worthless, deserve to be punished…
Addictions are often characterized by beliefs that day-to-day stress is intolerable and that cravings are humanly unbearable.
CBT WILL HELP TO:
- Be more aware of the way you think and feel in certain situations.
- Monitor your thoughts and beliefs and identify thoughts which are illogical and reactions which are self-defeating in nature.
- Actively challenge dysfunctional thoughts and practice more adaptive thoughts linked to everyday situations.
- Learn more about your emotions and pay more attention to what you really feel about important aspects of your personal life.
- Learn new ways to deal with situations and cope with problems such as stress management, communication, time-management, problem solving, assertiveness, overcoming fear, facing painful emotions etc.
CONDITIONS THAT CAN BE TREATED WITH COGNITIVE THERAPY:
- Depression and bipolar: For example, excessive guilt, negative ruminations, low self-esteem, low motivation.
- Post-traumatic stress: recollections of recent or past trauma, hypervigilance to cues related to the event.
- Anxiety: For example, social anxiety, panic attacks, constant worrying, OCD, excessive health concerns, phobias.
- Abuse and dependence on drugs and alcohol.
- Schizophrenia: For example, faulty cognitions once stabilized on medication, misinterpreting other people’s behavior and motives.
- Procrastination: For example, fear of failure, passive-aggressive avoidance, underachievement.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, HIV, autoimmune diseases: excessive worry, negative emotions of anger/resentment, self-blame.