Many people see working on their body at the gym with a trainer acceptable but working on their mind with a Therapist as unacceptable.
What is Cognitive Dissonance?
example: Cognitive dissonance can arise when a person perceives working on their physical fitness at the gym as positive or valuable, while considering working on their mental well-being or personal development as less important or even negative. This creates a conflict between the values placed on physical improvement versus mental or emotional growth. Yet the mind drives the body, makes no sense really when you reframe the original thought and belief…There are compelling studies in favour of working on the mind to improve physical & mental health. High performing athletes understand the importance of challenging limiting thoughts, beliefs and behaviours. You may even find some of your limiting, thoughts beliefs and behaviours stem from way back in your childhood.
Note: Therapy is like going to a mind gym, you have to do the work to achieve what you want
What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapeutic approach utilised mostly by Counselling therapists and Psychologists that focuses on the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. It is a widely used and evidence-based therapy for treating various mental health conditions, including anxiety disorders, depression, phobias, eating disorders, and substance abuse. I found after Covid many people developed health anxiety and CBT has been very helpful for those people.
CBT is based on the idea that our thoughts (cognitions) significantly influence our emotions and behaviours. It suggests that distorted or negative thinking patterns can contribute to emotional distress and problematic behaviours. By identifying and challenging these unhelpful thoughts, individuals can develop healthier thinking patterns and subsequently experience improvements in their emotional well-being and behaviour.
During CBT sessions, a therapist works collaboratively with the client to identify negative or maladaptive thoughts and beliefs. The therapist helps the client examine the evidence supporting or refuting these thoughts and encourages them to develop more balanced and realistic perspectives. This process involves learning various cognitive restructuring techniques, such as cognitive reframing, where individuals reframe negative thoughts into more positive or neutral ones.
Additionally, CBT emphasises behavioural interventions to promote positive change. Clients are encouraged to engage in behavioural experiments, exposure exercises, and skill-building activities to confront fears, develop healthier coping mechanisms, and improve problem-solving skills.
CBT is typically structured, goal-oriented, and time-limited. It often involves homework assignments to practice and apply new skills outside of therapy sessions. The ultimate aim of CBT is to empower individuals to become their own therapists, equipped with the tools to manage their thoughts, emotions, and behaviours effectively.
It’s important to note that while CBT has been extensively researched and found to be effective, it may not be suitable for everyone or every condition. It’s always recommended to consult with a qualified mental health professional to determine the most appropriate treatment approach for individual needs.
When can CBT be useful?
Anxiety disorders: This includes generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Depression: CBT can be effective in treating mild to moderate depression. It focuses on addressing negative thought patterns, improving mood, and enhancing coping strategies.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): CBT, particularly trauma-focused CBT, is often used to help individual’s process traumatic experiences and manage symptoms associated with PTSD.
Eating disorders: CBT has shown effectiveness in treating conditions like bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and some cases of anorexia nervosa. It targets distorted body image, unhealthy thoughts about food, and maladaptive eating behaviours.
Substance abuse and addiction: CBT can be utilised to address the underlying thoughts, beliefs, and behaviours related to substance abuse and addiction. It helps individuals develop healthier coping mechanisms and prevent relapse.
Sleep disorders: CBT for insomnia (CBT-I) is a specialized form of CBT that focuses on improving sleep patterns, addressing sleep-related anxieties, and promoting healthy sleep hygiene.
Chronic pain: CBT can be beneficial for individuals experiencing chronic pain by addressing the psychological aspects of pain perception, improving coping strategies, and enhancing quality of life.
While CBT is suitable for many individuals, it may not be appropriate for everyone or every condition. It’s important to consult with a qualified mental health professional who can assess your specific needs and determine the most suitable treatment approach for you. They will consider factors such as your individual circumstances, preferences, and the nature of your condition to guide treatment decisions.
Let’s break it down a little more…
What is Maladaptive?
The term “maladaptive” refers to thoughts, behaviours, or patterns of functioning that are not helpful or adaptive in meeting one’s needs or achieving positive outcomes. In the context of mental health, maladaptive thoughts and behaviours can contribute to distress, interfere with daily functioning, and negatively impact one’s well-being and relationships.
Note: Many marriages fall apart when one or both partners do not taking responsibility for their own maladaptive behaviours by reaching out and seeking help.
For example, maladaptive thoughts might involve distorted thinking patterns such as catastrophising (exaggerating the negative consequences of a situation), overgeneralising (drawing broad negative conclusions from isolated incidents), or personalising (attributing excessive blame to oneself for negative events). These types of thinking can perpetuate anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions.
Maladaptive behaviours can manifest as avoidance of challenging situations or responsibilities, excessive substance use, self-harm, or social withdrawal. These behaviours may temporarily alleviate distress but can have negative long-term consequences and hinder personal growth and well-being.
Your quality of life QOL and the quality of life of your family and friend is important. Many time people are suffering when their internal wars could be treated.
In the context of therapy, identifying and addressing maladaptive thoughts and behaviours is an essential aspect of treatment. Through techniques like cognitive restructuring, individuals can challenge and replace maladaptive thoughts with more accurate and helpful ones. Similarly, behavioural interventions aim to replace maladaptive behaviours with healthier alternatives that promote adaptive functioning and well-being.
It’s important to note that the term “maladaptive” is used to describe patterns that are not beneficial or adaptive in a given context. What is considered maladaptive can vary depending on the individual, cultural norms, and specific circumstances.CBT therapy is considered suitable for a wide range of individuals experiencing various mental health conditions. It has been extensively researched and found to be effective in treating numerous disorders. Some of the common conditions for which CBT is recommended include:
Why is “Shame” a show stopper?
Shame can often play a significant role in why some individuals may be hesitant or resistant to seeking therapy or mental health support. Shame is a powerful and deeply rooted emotion that involves feelings of embarrassment, unworthiness, or self-disapproval. It can stem from various sources, such as societal stigma around mental health, cultural beliefs, personal experiences, or internalised negative beliefs about seeking help. Cognitive Dissonance maybe?
Here are a few reasons why shame may prevent individuals from seeking therapy:
Stigma: Mental health stigma still exists in many societies, and individuals may fear being judged, labelled, or treated differently if they admit to having emotional or psychological struggles. This fear of being stigmatized can generate shame and prevent them from seeking therapy.
Perceived weakness: Some individuals may associate seeking therapy with being weak or incapable of handling their own problems. They might feel shame in admitting they need help and perceive it as a personal failure or inadequacy.
Self-judgment: Shame can also arise from self-judgment and self-criticism. People may feel ashamed for experiencing certain thoughts, emotions, or behaviours, believing they should be able to overcome their difficulties on their own.
Vulnerability and fear of judgment: Therapy often involves sharing personal and vulnerable aspects of oneself. The fear of being judged or misunderstood by a therapist or being seen as “broken” can trigger shame and hinder the willingness to engage in therapy.
It’s important to address and overcome shame-related barriers to seeking therapy. Here are some strategies that can help:
Education and awareness: Learning about mental health, therapy, and the common experiences of seeking help can help challenge misconceptions and reduce shame.
Normalising seeking help: Promoting conversations around mental health, openly discussing therapy, and sharing personal experiences can help reduce stigma and normalise the act of seeking therapy.
Self-compassion: Cultivating self-compassion involves treating oneself with kindness and understanding, recognising that everyone has struggles and seeking help is a sign of strength rather than weakness.
Supportive environments: Creating supportive and non-judgmental spaces where individuals feel safe to express their emotions and seek help can contribute to reducing shame and encouraging help-seeking behaviours.
It’s crucial to remember that seeking therapy is a courageous and proactive step towards personal growth, healing, and well-being. If shame or other barriers are preventing someone from seeking therapy, reaching out to supportive individuals or professionals who can provide guidance and reassurance can be a valuable starting point.
I hope this helps someone somewhere 🙂
What’s new & what’s back?
New: Walk and talk: For those who are couped up in offices and need to get their exercise or for those who are uncomfortable with sitting in a Therapy office for 60mins. Whatever the reason getting outside can be beneficial in so many ways.
Back: Men’s and Women’s Groups- These groups were popular before Covid like most things during that time we had to end them.
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