Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is all about learning how your thoughts create your moods.
We all have certain inherent tendencies to certain negative thoughts that will promote unhappiness and disturbance, especially in response to particular trigger situations. Once we accept this fact we can learn to spot the negative thoughts and start to see them for what they are, we can then challenge them and learn to re think them.
What people think and what they believe will determine how they behave and emotional problems are usually the result of negative and distorted thinking.
The process places a stress on what we think and believe because this affects what we feel and do. This therapy is all about helping you to examine your own beliefs and learning to adopt newer healthier more positive beliefs so that you can think differently and therefore learn to act differently.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is about working with an experienced Therapist to change these negative and distorted thinking patterns which in turn will help you to overcome any emotional and behavioural problems that you are having.
It focuses on where you are now and how you move forwards.
This process requires your commitment and will give you homework to keep you involved between sessions and strengthen new beliefs. Your progress in between sessions will be renewed at each subsequent session.
Cognitive behavioural Therapy can be effective in treating clients with Anxiety issues and Depression, some people undertaking the process will find it very helpful to be engaged and involved, however others won't find it helpful. Like any Therapy process it very depends on the individual and what works for them personally.
There are no rights and wrongs when it comes to recovery from Anxiety and Depression, it is about finding the avenue that works for you.
Personally I didn't feel that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy worked for me. There were though, things I took from my time with the Therapist and used myself when facilitating my own years later so I cannot say nothing helped at all.
Ultimately regardless of what support I received over the years, I knew that the solution had to come from me.
I felt better during the process due to having the weekly support of someone to talk to. However my experience of this type of therapy was not great as I didn't have the right Therapist.
Every session I had to first answer questions as to how I had felt during the week and it seemed to be very much a fabricate the answers to achieve community targets exercise. This sounds harsh but I say this as towards the end of the twenty six sessions I just knew my symptoms were returning as I could feel the decline. When I answered the questions honestly, I was told to 'ignore' how I was feeling now and look over the twenty six weeks and give a general view, which made my overall mood look better than it did.
I was so bad at that point that in my last session I had a full blown panic attack and the end result was that I felt I could not stay in the session and left, but the therapist still signed me off and told me I would be fine as I left and went home. I continued to decline, with no real understanding of how to stop it and suffered the worst set back I had ever had, and became almost house bound.
What really stayed with me on reflection was that during the panic attack I had in session, the therapist didn't really know what to say to me. I mean I seemed to get a lot of 'text book' responses to my attack such as 'just relax' but deep down I was just wondering how she could really help me if she didn't understand how I was feeling.
In the heat of the moment when it really mattered the fact was I lacked confidence in her because I knew she didn't really understand.
The therapist and the content of the sessions lost all its weight for me at that point. It seemed to be more about meeting targets that how I was actually feeling. Which is a shame as I do believe the process could be very helpful for some.
One final personal thought.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is based on the assumption, that our thoughts influence how we feel, our sensations and behaviour.
So if we can change how we think, we can change how we feel and behave, easy right?.But there are challenges to this method.
I will try to explain my point. Let's pretend that you are in the house alone at midnight and you hear someone try your door.
What stage did the trigger make you scared and how?
Did you think oh my god who tried the door, and then panic or Did you panic first and then think who tried the door?
Cognitive theory is based on the assumption that you would think first and panic second, but how do we know that this is always the case?
Another point, if you were a prey animal on an African plain and each time there was danger you had to first register the thought would you always survive if this had to happen before the activation of your fight or flight response? interestingly maybe not!
We would be annihilated by "other" predators, were we not able to, in an instant, activate our fight or flight response, and then subsequently register the danger cognitively. Therefore, the activation of the fight or flight response precedes the thought. That's how we have evolved, and thus treating anxiety by trying to alter the way we think and as a result how we feel, could well be a meaningless enterprise.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy treats our thoughts as the cause of our anxiety, when it in fact these thoughts can be the effect of anxiety.
Interesting an thought provoking discussion, however the avenue that works for you is the right one and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is another option to try.