Cognitive behavioural therapy explained
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Ashford (CBT). Provides a type of talking therapy that looks at how we think about ourselves, other people and the wider world. This thinking then impacts on how we feel and in turn, affects our behaviour.
Thoughts, feelings and behaviours are all linked. Therefore, if we think negative or upsetting thoughts, we will then feel negative or upset. We are then likely to behave in a way that reinforces those thoughts and strengthens the feelings, becoming a vicious cycle.
With the help of cognitive behavioural therapy Ashford you will be able to change these negative patterns to a healthier, more rational way of thinking, feeling and behaving. This is achieved by understanding and making links between what we think, feel and do. This helps make the changes
Cognitive behavioural therapy argues that it’s not an event in itself which causes our negative emotions, but how we interpret it. Or what we believe or the meaning we give to that event or situation. It doesn’t mean we are to ‘blame’ for our negative thought patterns but we do have an emotional responsibility for them. This is a good thing because it means it is possible to change them.
Examples of negative thought patterns:-
Description (fact): Your boss pops his head round your office the door in the morning and asks if you can go and see him at the end of the day.
This can then lead to the following thoughts:-
Interpretation: “My boss has asked to see me at the end of the day … I must have done something wrong”
Inference: “My boss has asked to see me at the end of the day … I must have done something wrong and if I have he might fire me”
Evaluation: “My boss has asked to see me at the end of the day …. I must have done something wrong….he might fire me …. Oh no, if he does my life will be over… and I’ll never get another job!”
Fact vs interpretation
Notice that the only ‘fact’ is that the boss popped his head round your door and said he wanted to see you at the end of the day. Everything else are thought/interpretations – which are automatic and can happen in a matter of seconds!! Such thoughts often lead to feelings of anxiety and are accompanied by physical sensations such as nervous stomach, feeling hot, sweaty palms. These feelings consequently change our behaviour. We may pace up and down, feel restless and want to go home, or perhaps feel unable to concentrate or become withdrawn.
Strangely when we are actually faced with our worst case scenario we always deal with it. We may not like it, but we do deal with it. What troubles us is the ‘thought’ of it happening. The ‘what if’s’ in life, so we end up having unhelpful, irrational thoughts about something that may not happen at all. So we spend all day feeling anxious. Only to find that when we meet our boss at the end of the day he is more than likely going to say “I just want to go through some figures with you” More about CBT Therapy
How cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help
When people suffer with any unhelpful, negative emotions like anxiety, depression, anger or jealousy, these thoughts, feeling and behaviours are happening regularly, although we are not always aware of it. It often becomes a habit. All we know is that the negative emotion is troubling us. CBT can help break this down and make changes to bring about a more helpful, rational way of thinking.
It is always helpful to discuss the past and understand how our past experiences has influenced our lives. CBT will look at this, although generally tends to focus more on the present and future, looking for ways to improve our mental wellbeing now and make positive steps for the future. Making changes in what we think will affect our feelings and the way we behave.
CBT is doesn’t necessarily teach us new things but it reminds us of what we already know. We already know eating healthily and exercise is good for our bodies but we also need to remember that thinking in a more rational and logical way is good for our mental health.
If you would like to make an appointment for cognitive behavioural therapy Ashford or any of our other counselling practices. Please contact us at CBT and Counselling Kent today. Request an appointment for CBT