Cognitive Therapy Means Riding Your Imagination
Aaron Beck is renowned for creating cognitive therapy, an evidence-based treatment to reduce symptoms of depression. This approach relies on the notion that mental health issues often stem from distorted thinking and behaviors rather than external causes.
Butler and Beck (2000) found that 80% of adults who receive cognitive therapy benefit from the treatment. Therapists typically utilize this form of therapy to address anxiety disorders and mood imbalances.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an umbrella term for various therapies designed to alter thoughts, emotions and behavior. While some of these approaches are more behavioral in nature than others, all have the purpose of helping clients recognize and alter negative or distorted beliefs that may be contributing to their symptoms.
Cognitive therapy begins by recognizing irrational, maladaptive thought patterns and behaviors. These may include negative thoughts such as those that blame you or other people for your problems, excessive expectations, and overgeneralizations.
Clients are then challenged to reexamine their thinking and consider evidence that could support or contradict their original negative thoughts – this process is sometimes referred to as reframing.
Reframing can help a person alter their mindset and feel more optimistic about their situation. It also serves to challenge irrational beliefs that lead to negative outcomes.
It can be a complex process and take some time to master, but eventually you will discover new and helpful thinking and behavioral patterns that make managing life’s stresses simpler.
Cognitive therapy not only identifies the underlying causes of your symptoms, but it also emphasizes developing coping strategies for when you feel overwhelmed. These coping techniques will assist in managing emotional distress and avoiding self-destructive behavior.
Together with your therapist, you will set specific objectives for treatment. These could include improving relationships with others, managing finances or decreasing symptoms.
Once you and your therapist have set goals, begin incorporating these changes into daily life. You should start to notice positive shifts in both your behavior and mood as you make progress toward these objectives.
Your therapist and you will collaborate to monitor how effective the therapy is working for you. This could include counting how often panic attacks or specific symptoms of your disorder have occurred, but it could also involve filling out standardized questionnaires that measure symptom frequency and intensity.
This technique can be especially helpful if you are suffering from PTSD or anxiety disorders. In this type of therapy, the therapist helps the patient relive traumatic events and imagine them differently; for instance, someone who has been traumatized might envision fighting back or being saved from an attacker.
Rescripting is often combined with cognitive restructuring, which involves challenging irrational thoughts. It is an effective technique that can be utilized by people of all ages and backgrounds to help them reframe their feelings and think more positively about themselves, others, and situations.