Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?
Most of us treat our thoughts as if they were facts. This makes it difficult to assess and change our thinking. The term “cognitive behavioral therapy” (CBT) describes a therapeutic orientation based on learning theory and cognitive therapy. CBT helps clients identify, test the reality of, and modify thoughts and patterns of thought that distort reality, perpetuate negative emotion, and result in unhealthy behaviors. I use CBT techniques when I am working with motivated people suffering from depression and anxiety, phobias (irrational fears), obsessive-compulsive disorder, or relationship issues. CBT is an active, structured and time-limited approach to therapy.
What are some common thought distortions?
1. BLACK AND WHITE THINKING: There are no grey areas. Everything is rated a ten or a zero, perfection or failure.
2. OVERGENERALIZATION: A single negative event is taken as a template for all events.
3. MENTAL FILTER: Everything is seen though a single negative detail.
4. DISQUALIFYING THE POSITIVE: Positive experiences are rejected so that a negative view of reality can be maintained (you rain on your own parade).
5. JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS: Experiences are interpreted negatively regardless of facts.
6. MIND READING: Negative thoughts are attributed to others, and not checked out.
7. CATASTROPHIZING: Making a mountain our of a molehill
8. MINIMIZING: Making a molehill out of a mountain.
9. PERSONALIZATION: Blaming oneself for some negative event when you were not primarily responsible.
10. EMOTIONAL REASONING: Reasoning on the basis of feelings, but without analyzing or integrating your thoughts and emotions (for example, assuming you are to blame because you feel bad).
(From: Burns, David D. Feeling Good. Morrow, 1980]