Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

 

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, not external things, like people, situations, and events. The benefit of this fact is that we can change the way we think, to feel and act better, even if the situation does not change. It is a form of therapy that emphasizes the important role of thinking in how we feel and what we do. CBT aims to help the client to become aware of thought distortions which are causing psychological distress, and of behavioral patterns which are reinforcing it, and to correct them. The therapist will make every effort to understand experiences from the client’s point of view, and the client and therapist will work collaboratively, exploring the client’s thoughts, assumptions and inferences. The therapist helps the client learn to test these by checking them against reality and against other assumptions.

Cognitive-behavioral therapists seek to learn what their clients want out of life (their goals) and then help their clients achieve those goals. The therapist’s role is to listen, teach, and encourage, while the client’s role is to express concerns, learn, and implement that learning.

The goal of therapy is to help clients unlearn their unwanted reactions and to learn a new way of reacting. When people understand how and why they are doing well, they know what to do to continue doing well.

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Think Outside the Box

So, where in your life do you confine yourself inside the box? Are there certain areas of your life that you are remaining comfortable, even though you may desire more? Do you feel there are very specific rules when it comes to making life changes? Those individuals who are truly successful say time and time again that they needed to think outside the box. They knew they needed to try what others weren’t. They needed to be willing to take risks in order to move ahead. I am very comfortable thinking outside the box. When I follow others and try to conform to their belief system or way of doing things, I feel extremely confined and uncreative. Whether you are too comfortable in a bad relationship, or you are unhappily secure in your current job, there are always opportunities to expand and find your own rhythm. Being comfortable is ok if that is what you are striving for. If, however, you are feeling bored, unenthusiastic, or confined with your life, then it may be time to take a step outside of the box you have created for yourself. Do you know people that constantly raise the bar and try new things? Are you a bit envious? Sometimes thinking outside the norm and then acting on these feelings makes you feel alive again. Just remember that you are the only one who can create a box around yourself, just as you are the only one that can step outside the self-imposed box. Your choice!

1. Any boxes?

What boxes do you surround yourself by? Remaining in an unhealthy relationship for fear of being alone?  Are you staying “as is” at work instead of pushing yourself and exploring your strengths? Are you content with your current friends, even if they aren’t the most positive and supportive group? Just take a step back from your life and see what comes to mind. You need to acknowledge this first before you are able to move forward.

2. Deep rooted desires

Maybe deep down you have desired certain things out of your life, but you’ve never given yourself the support or opportunity to explore them. Are you too comfortable in certain areas of your life and are you wanting to push the boundaries a bit? Write down what thoughts you have had in the past, the ones you have either ignored or pushed aside.

3. Time to act

You obviously don’t want to act on all your desires at once. Pick and choose the ones that take top priority, and take small steps first. By taking small risks, you will boost your confidence and begin to see real results. These results will build your momentum so that you can take larger risks. You will realize fairly quickly that stepping outside your self-imposed boxes will lighten you up emotionally, while giving you the boost to make changes that you’ve desired for a while.

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