Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or CBT is a form of psychotherapy that emphasizes the importance of our thinking in how we feel. It helps in identifying the thinking that causes feelings and behaviour and by becoming aware of this thinking to replace it with thoughts that lead to more desirable reactions.
The first thing a CBT therapist does is to work with the client in trying to understand the problems. To achieve this the client assess his/her thoughts (beliefs, images, memories), moods and behaviour to come to some understanding of how they influence daily life. These three areas are all interlinked. For example if your thoughts are preoccupied or your too stressed to tidy your room or office it may get out of control, if you tidy (behaviour) your room or office you can feel much more comfortable there and feel (mood) a sense of achievement. If you decide to keep it tidy your mood then influences your daily life in keeping it tidy.
Changes in our behaviour influence how we think and feel (physically and mentally) and this can change our daily lives and our environment.
“Thoughts help to define which mood we experience in a given situation. Once mood is present, it is accompanied by additional thoughts that support and strengthen the mood. For example, angry people think about ways they have been hurt, depressed people think about how unfortunate life has become, and anxious people see danger everywhere. In fact, the stronger our moods, the more extreme our thinking is likely to be.” (1) When we are in an intense mood our thinking can become distorted and we sometimes disregard what the actual circumstances are. Road rage would be a good example of this, how a motorist can get so angry about a small infringement and act out in rage. We all think like this at sometime, often a small motoring infringement can cause anger, but the being aware of the thoughts and the associate feeling can help to stop the incident developing into a rage.
Some of our thoughts (beliefs, images, memories) can have been developed in our childhood and teenage years. For this reason a mix of therapies can help to understand our every day lives.