HOW DOES CBT WORK?
HOW DOES CBT WORK?
Most people know that there's a link between their thoughts and emotions and the way they behave.But there is no clear consensus about the exact nature of this link.Hence the expression: "we're only human"!
So, let's look at one area to start with- depression, or "feeling low" as some would prefer to put it. When we are depressed (or feeling low), the most salient psychological symptom is the way the sufferer actually THINKS!
In CBT, we pay a lot of attention to the negative thought patterns, which lead to negative views of just about everything- ourselves, the world in which we live, and even our futures.
But negative thoughts are not the CAUSES of depression, but essential features of it. They are the products of the way we process information or in layman's English, THE WAY WE LOOK AT THINGS. One psychologist describes this as the reverse of alchemy, the process by which we turn base metal into gold.
Depressives do the reverse. They turn gold into base metal!
CBT helps us understand the way in which attitudes, assumptions,beliefs, rules and "core structures" may impact more upon a particular person and trigger a long lasting depression, where for others, they may pass unnoticed.
WHAT DO WE MEAN BY CORE STRUCTURES?
Core structures originate in our very beings! Love, achievements, work, competitiveness, loneliness, a sense of autonomy, feeling all powerful, or alternatively impotent, needing approval or admiration, the list is endless.
These bits of feelings in us all can sometimes override rational thought, develop a form of rigidity which doesn't allow moderating influences to enter the thought process, and end up being thoroughly unhelpful.
REGAINING CONTROL OF OUR THOUGHTS
As humans, we constantly receive and transmit information. We continually interact with what's going on around us, people and places. So if we are feeling low or depressed, confused or upset, it's important to seek assistance from someone who's in tune with how you are feeling. In other words, someone who "gets you".
The skill of CBT lies in looking at those "structures" together, and examining the problems, contradictions and advantages within them.
A LIVING STRATEGY
CBT isn't there to make you "cope". Somehow, most of the people who read this will be doing that to a greater or lesser extent already. But what CBT CAN DO is help identify, develop and support a better living strategy, a way of becoming more comfortable with yourself, and feeling better placed to change those things you previously thpought unchangeable.