AN INTRODUCTION TO CBT AND HOW IT CAN HELP US
Most of us have heard about CBT, though we may not know what it means exactly. Through this article, we’ll understand what CBT is and how is can be helpful to everyone and is not just limited to individuals who are currently facing a mental health condition.
Aaron Beck was the psychologist who first conceptualized what we now know as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). It is a simple way to understand challenging adversities and our reactions towards them. It focuses on three main elements: emotions, behaviours, and thoughts. It helps us in managing our situations by changing the way we see certain things, the way we think and behave.
CBT helps us deal with various overwhelming situations in a positive way by breaking them down in smaller parts. It helps us see and face the problem step by step, rather than all at once. It also deals with current thoughts, emotions, and behaviours rather than the past way of conduct or thinking.
The goal of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is to teach us that while we cannot control every aspect of the world around us, we can still control how we interpret and deal with things in the environment.
During the course of CBT, we become aware of our negative thinking which we have during difficult times. CBT helps us in viewing them more clearly and responding to them in an effective manner. It also helps in changing destructive or disturbing thought patterns that may have a negative influence on our behavior and emotions.
CBT has also been found to be useful for treating anxiety. Researchers recently used CBT in a school setting to help children during exam time. It was shown that using CBT was quite helpful to the children and it reduced their anxiety levels. Another research study found that CBT was helpful in treating insomnia in a workplace setting.
CBT is also useful for people who have low self-esteem. CBT has also helped individuals quit smoking.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy helps us examine our negative thoughts and encourages us to look at evidence from reality that either supports or refutes those thoughts.
It gives out a more objective and realistic approach to our thoughts, emotions, and feelings.
By becoming aware of the negative and often unrealistic thoughts we realize that these negative thoughts dampen our feelings and moods. Through CBT, we are able to engage in healthier thinking patterns.
When we are in a disturbed state of mind, we base our predictions and interpretations on a biased view of the situation, making the difficult situation seem much worse. Sometimes, in a mental state of helplessness, we might take decisions that haunt us for a long time to come. CBT helps to correct such misunderstandings.
It focuses on automatic negative thoughts that exacerbate emotional difficulties and contribute to several mental health issues. CBT also helps in learning and practicing techniques such as relaxation, coping, resilience, stress management, and assertiveness.
There are several techniques in CBT that teach us self-care and help in transforming our lives.
In the next article, we would like to share a few techniques that have been found to be helpful to all in reducing stress and exploring ourselves more.
There is more on the surface than what our eyes can see. - Aaron T Beck