Viw Magazine

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Do you want the good news, or the bad news first? That was a trick question, there is no such thing as good or bad, everything that happens around us is a neutral event. Whether we feel positive or negative about it happens in our mind, based on our memory, expectations or what people might have told us.

Even though ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is an objective and personal construct we tend to label our day and our experiences this way. If we get into a habit of labelling things in a negative way, it can start to impact our life in unwanted ways so that even something small, like going to the shops, can become an overwhelming and anxiety-building experience.

What is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is a type of professional talking therapy that helps to gently question a person’s ideas of good and bad and ask, ‘Is there another possible outcome here?’ It gives a client a lot of control over their thoughts and allows them to slow down and choose the direction they want to take.

How does CBT work

A trained therapist is able to help a client identify the negative patterns of thinking holding them back. They know the right questions to ask to gently bring their client to a new awareness and introduce new information that is positive and empowering. Usually, this new information already exists within the client’s memory and experiences, making them all the more authentic and the positive habits catch on quickly because it comes from personal experience.

What can CBT help with

CBT is a gentle therapy that is safe for children, teenagers and adults. It can be applied to address and disarm a range of different mental and physical health problems including:

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Stress

  • Insomnia

  • Substance abuse

  • Eating disorders

  • Post-traumatic stress

  • Obsessive-compulsive Disorders

Even though this list covers a range of very different issues, all of these can be linked back to unwanted negative thoughts convincing people the worst will happen in their life.

Benefits of CBT

Be calm and relax: We can’t be reasoned with when we are agitated and stressed. CBT teaches us how to cope with stress and calm down. Stopping the flood of emotion is the first step in regaining mental control.

Find rational thoughts: The thought that everything is bad is not rational, our day-to-day lives are typically not filled with danger and risk. Receiving CBT therapy will help reduce the panic and teach us how to ask questions internally to open up more options and see things rationally.

Override Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs): Negative thoughts can pop up automatically, making them hard to identify. CBT teaches how to stop the auto-function and override negative thoughts and memories with positive and empowering ones.

Learn to control your thinking: Unwanted negative thoughts can become a personal attack, a constant narrative of, ‘I am not good enough, I am not smart enough, I am not brave enough…’. Overriding that voice to believe loving and kind things about yourself can be hard to do on your own. CBT can teach you strategies to find proof of your self-worth and love, gain confidence and be kind to yourself.

Expect better outcomes: When someone believes the worst will happen they are not motivated to try new things or enjoy certain activities - which only cements their fears of the unknown. When expectations shift to become in line with logic, a person is able to try new activities and test their ability. The big advantage here is every time they move forward they continue to build positive beliefs and memories through experience.

Understanding that it’s okay to make mistakes. It’s a learning tool. You can get better results next time.

By using CBT to address the way you think and how you perceive opportunities you open up more empowering options and teach your brain a new way to learn and experience the world.

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