4 Tips for Successful Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Nov 22, 2018
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a method of psychotherapy that is currently trending in the field of psychology and counseling. How does it work? Is its growing popularity justified?
The method of cognitive behavioral therapy is simple: in order to change a negative mood, the thoughts that lead to it must change first. In theory, it seems like a rather obvious solution. However, successful cognitive behavioral therapy takes guidance, practice, and lots of self-discipline. A licensed therapist can help patients train themselves to catch their negative thoughts early and twist them into positive affirmations. Patients must be diligent in reminding themselves to change their thoughts outside of the therapist's office at first, but eventually, it can become second nature. Here are four tips for the CBT self-starter:
1) Be truly determined to change. It may be easy to say that you are ready for a change, but true determination requires work that may be difficult to produce for some majorly depressed patients. You must constantly monitor your thoughts throughout the day and night, and it can be easy to stop paying attention.
2) Write down positive affirmations. Simply attempting to come up with positive thoughts about yourself can be nearly impossible during a depressive episode. Try writing down a list of your best qualities with the help of someone who knows you well. Then, keep the list in your pocket or on your phone and read it to yourself when you are feeling down.
3) Restructure your negative thoughts. Once you begin to recognize specific recurring negative affirmations, you can begin to pick them apart and test their validity. For example, if a primary thought you have is "I am unsuccessful," try truly examining your accomplishments and what you are doing to make changes in your life. Then, restructure your thought into something more positive (even if it has the same general meaning), like "I am working to better myself and become successful."
4) Combine CBT with antidepressant medication. Most psychiatrists and therapists agree that the combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and the use of antidepressants produces the best results in treatment. Antidepressants such as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) work physiologically to improve your general mood via hormones and "take the edge off." Combined with the mental work of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, their effects are enhanced.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a monumental method of psychotherapy that continues to help many mentally ill patients in the long-term. If you seek more guidance in improving your mental health, contact us today to schedule an appointment and begin your healing.