COGNITIVE BEHAVIOUR THERAPY
During the Therapy the therapist and the client work together to understand:
What we think about ourselves, others and the world in general.
In which way does our behaviour affect our thought process and our feelings.
Therapy may help to change the way we think ("cognitive") and the way we behave ("behaviour"). These changes can help to improve our wellbeing. The difference of this kind of therapy with other "talking therapis"; this type of therapy focusses on difficulties in the "here and now". Instead of working on the roots of the anxiety or other symptoms, it's aim is to improve general wellbeing in the present moment.
This therapy provides support in understanding complex problems breaking them down into smaller parts. This helps to understand how all small parts are interconnected and how this affects our general wellbeing. These small parts consist of:
A situation - a problem, a fact or a dificult situation.
Out of this situation the following derives:
Each of these factors do influence eachother. Our thoughts about a problem may affect the way we feel physically and emotionally. It also alters our behaviour.
There are different ways to react to a vast mayority of situations, depending on how we think about it:
You've had a bad day and are in a bad mood. You decide to go shopping. On your way you meet somebody you know but it seems this person ignores you.
Thoughts: “He/she ignored me - “Looks like he/she is absorbed
doesn't like me”. in thoughts - I ask myself if he/she's got a problem”.
Feelings: Sadness and rejection Concerned about the person
reactions: Stomach cramps, None - feels fine
lack of energy, nausea.
Behaviour: Going home and avoids Greet the other person to be sure he/
the person she is fine
The same situation, depending on how we think about it, results in two different types of reactions. The way we think affects the way we feel and the way we behave.
The examples of the left column show us that we have come to a conclusion without any proof -which is important as this conclusion has lead us to:
You go home feeling sad, probably thoughts spinning around your head about what happened, which makes you feel even worse. If you greet the other person, in the end you will feel probably better with yourself. If you do not greet the other person, you don't have the opportunity to correct any misinterpretation about what they think of you -and you'll feel possibly worse.
This is a simple way of understanding the process.
This "vicious circle" can make us feel worse and can even create new situations and uncomfortable feelings. As a consequence we can start believing in unrealistic things (and unpleasant) about ourselves. This occurs because, when we feel anxious, we are more prone to come to extreme and negative conclusions and interpretations.
Therapy can help to break the vicious circle of thoughts, feelings and negative behaviour. When we look throught the sequences with clarity of mind, we can change them and modify the way we think. The goal of the Therapy is learn how to do this ourselves, and elaborate our own ways to face challenges.