What Cognitive Therapy Focuses On
Cognitive therapy focuses on how your thoughts and feelings affect behavior. It helps you take control of negative thought patterns, leading to positive changes in your life. This type of therapy is commonly used by those suffering from mental health issues; it’s a short-term, goal-oriented approach that uses techniques like journaling to help create new habits.
CBT instructs you on using rational thought processes, or the capacity for drawing informed conclusions based on facts and logic. It also assists in recognizing irrational thoughts that are controlling your behaviors and emotions.
Learning how to challenge negative thoughts and replace them with healthier ones that support your goals and beliefs can be a powerful tool in combatting depression. For instance, if you believe you are unlovable, evidence might exist to prove otherwise.
By doing this, you can overcome negative thought patterns and become more socially comfortable in social situations. Furthermore, it helps develop stronger coping mechanisms.
There are a range of therapists who provide this type of therapy. They may specialize in working with specific diagnoses or provide humanistic approaches.
Therapists will ask you questions that challenge your assumptions, test the validity of your beliefs, and expose other viewpoints. They may use Socratic questioning, which is a method inspired by Socrates’ teachings on problem-solving without providing direct advice.
Treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) focus on recognizing and challenging cognitive distortions that have been maintained in a client’s belief system following trauma. These distortions are thought to contribute to the development and maintenance of symptoms related to PTSD (Psychology Research and Behavior Management, 2011).
A therapist can assist you in recognizing the specific distorted beliefs that have caused or maintained your emotional distress. These could include things such as unrealistic appraisals or attributions, overgeneralizations, and selective abstractions.
Therapists will also teach you strategies to transform these distorted thoughts and beliefs into more realistic ones. This could involve replacing irrational beliefs with more sensible ones, or altering the frequency and duration of negative thoughts.
Additionally, therapy can assist you in developing new coping skills and practicing ways to avoid or manage stressful situations that could trigger a relapse during recovery. Furthermore, therapy helps set and reach objectives such as creating a healthy sleep schedule or returning to work.
The therapist will instruct you on SMART goals, which are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-limited. These objectives can help you reach your long-term objectives and prevent relapse during recovery.
If you are struggling with anxiety, your therapist can teach you how to recognize and manage racing thoughts and irrational thinking patterns. These negative thoughts and behaviors are a major contributor to the development of anxiety disorders; CBT can help manage them effectively.