Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a type of therapy that uses a methodical approach to try and improve thought processes. How you think about the world and what you tell yourself every day are an integral part of how you make decisions. If you are constantly saying to yourself that you can't do something, you are going to make decisions that don't allow you to reach your potential. The therapy is focused on recognizing harmful thoughts and behaviors and trying to improve those thoughts so that they are more productive. It is goal-oriented therapy, and you and your therapist will talk about what you want to gain out of this therapy and how to identify when you have succeeded.
There's a Relationship Between Thoughts and Feelings
Therapist services will help you recognize that there is a direct correlation between thoughts and feelings. You might take someone's silence as a negative reaction to you when the person didn't even hear you come in the room. If you think that you're being deliberately ignored, that thought can leave you feeling stressed. If you realize that they didn't hear you enter, your second thought may be neutral, and you will feel relieved. Your perception of what is going on creates your mood and reflects in your behavior.
Old Patterns Don't Serve You Well
Old patterns of thinking that are negative don't serve you well. When you fall into a rut, you have a hard time figuring a way out. If you are a person who tends to sabotage their own actions, CBT is likely to help. Just when you start to get ahead, old thought patterns can creep in, making it difficult for you to move forward. With a negative outlook, you are only going to look for things that confirm your thoughts and keep you in the same pattern.
Changing Thought Patterns to Improve Outlook
CBT involves talking about your thoughts and your responses to specific situations. It's a methodical approach to change, and you will begin to see how your thoughts and behaviors are not helping you. As you become more aware of your thoughts, it becomes easier to re-frame what you are thinking into a more positive statement. Your therapist will teach you ways to take a negative thought and turn it into one that is more neutral or positive.
When you are feeling stuck, it's time to find therapist services. CBT is just one form of therapy, and your therapist may offer a combination of services to help you heal and move forward with your life. Contact a therapist like Donald McEachran, PhD, to learn more.