Cognitive behavioural therapy – CBT the key to a happier life
Maladaptive or automatic thoughts make us feel emotional and are consequently the reason we end up depressed, angry and anxious.
- People talk about me behind my back!
- I can’t stop thinking about what has happened!
- My relationship is over, and as a result I can’t go on!
- I hate the way I look and as a result i eat more.!
- I’m anxious all the time and I get regular panic attacks
The first step to better mental health is to realise that something isn’t right with the way you are thinking. Admitting therefore that you need some kind of support is very important. CBT will open your eyes to new ways of thinking because the thoughts you are currently manifesting are certainly having a negative effect on your mental health.
Second is to realise that it’s not the event itself that produces the intense feelings associated with poor mental health. it is the perception of the event that causes the emotional feeling or behaviour. So if we can’t change the event itself, we can use cognitive behavioural therapy to change our perception of the event. This therefore makes the feeling associated with the event far less stressful.
Consider this example
Peter, a 45-year-old IT manager, is struggling with bad anxiety, depression and some anger issues. He forgets to take his security pass to gain entry for work.
“I’m locked outside, I’m going to be really late for work. Now I must go home to get it and my boss is going to be annoyed and I may lose my job. How will I be able to deliver my presentation this afternoon in this condition?
Anxiety levels seem to elevate and similarly Peter’s negative thoughts begin to worsen. Most importantly his anger problems seep to the surface. As a result, Peter’s rollercoaster morning ends up with a suspension from work for shouting at a colleague.
After cognative behavioural therapy (CBT)
Peter is now much more in control of how his thoughts manifest themselves. This time when he realises that he has left his security pass at home he employs the CBT techniques he has been taught to change the way he thinks.
“I’m locked outside. I’m going to be really late for work. I know, I will call someone in the office to let me in, its not a big deal I can deal with this”.