CBT provides a more accurate perception of our experience, builds inner strength, increases clarity and the ability to act in our own best interest. CBT uncovers the thoughts that are driving behaviors. It is important to “tune in” and hear what we are saying to ourselves. By learning how our thoughts effect our actions, new productive choices can be made. Additionally, when we are making better choices, we feel better.
How Does It Work?
Cognitive behavioral therapy, also called “talk therapy,” is the one of most common methods of therapy. If you have seen a therapist, your sessions were most likely a variation of CBT. CBT helps us make connections between our thoughts, actions and outcomes. A therapist using CBT might give you homework (or “selfwork” as we like to call it).
Here are some examples of selfwork in abbreviated form:
Having you keep a journal so that your thoughts are on the page rather than in your mind which leads to more clarity and less identification with situations, thoughts and feelings. Journal provides a way to track your progress and changes in perspective.
Having you write out a situation you are dealing with, how you felt, what you did and what you believe about yourself. Then, having you examine the various aspects of the situation in therapy thus shifting perception and leading to feelings of greater well-being.
Having you write an unsent letter to someone who has hurt your feelings so as to get those feelings onto the page and out of your body.
Often times working cognitively first can help set up and focus the work concurrent with trauma treatment. Counselors can combine CBT with more specialized types of therapy. When a therapist practices cognitive behavioral therapy with EMDR, Brainspotting, or Somatic Therapies, this is one of the most effective means of treating trauma.
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