Lessons in CBT #0 – What Is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can make the difference between a bad day and an average day. But what is it?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT. It sounds pretty daunting, so let’s break it down.

Cognitive – refers to everything that happens within your brain, like thinking or uses your senses, thoughts, dreams, memories and so forth.

Behavioural – your behaviour, the way you conduct yourself in response to events, thoughts, and emotions.

Therapy – the systemic treatment of a disorder typically through psychological means, basically you figuring out your brain.

In short, the heart of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy focuses on how people think and act in order to help them with emotional and behavioural issues. A common phrase within this therapy is “you feel the way you think”, so we work on the idea that if you can start to think healthier and more productively, you can become healthier in your mind.

CBT (as it shall be referred to from now on for the sake of my fingers not having to type it out each time) is becoming an increasingly popular form of treatment for psychological issues. It works. I know this from personal experience, I know this from what friends have told me, and I’ve read the science behind it. Its effectiveness will vary from person to person and some will find it easier than others. But CBT is a valid and effective way of dealing with issues surrounding your brain, including illnesses like depression and anxiety.

The idea of these “lessons” is to guide you through CBT, understanding what it is, how it can help, and what it entails. It can be the guide you need to find peace with yourself, or at least begin to understand why you’re feeling how you’re feeling, identifying the triggers that make you feel this way, and what you can do to overcome and cope with those feelings. The plans and theories involved with CBT can set you on the right path and allow you to become a more emotionally healthy human being.

Self-help and recovery are innately hard, so I ask that during the course of these lessons, you try your best to stick with it, be open-minded, and try whatever it takes to start feeling better. Identifying your issues is hard, dealing with their impact is hard, and deciding to do something about them is, as you guessed, hard. Depending on the severity of your distress, you might find some techniques easier than others or hitting certain goals with ease in comparison to others.

Fortunately, many of the concepts and strategies involved with CBT are rather simple. They just take time, and for them to be effective, they need to be addressed every day. They are practical and reasonable plans for people who aren’t always practical and reasonable. When you feel like the world is collapsing around you and the walls are closing in, the simplest of things can be incredibly hard to overcome. But if you can do them, and try to do them every day, we can slowly push those walls back and being to rebuild the world we know exists around us. It’s about setting small, simple, common sense goals to help start becoming emotionally healthy.

If you wish to learn more about CBT and how you can start to become more emotionally healthy, then please stick around as I’ll be going through all the stages of CBT, from how it works to what it requires and trying my best to explain it all to you as simply as I can.

I’m planning on writing up a lesson every week which will be posted on this website. If you wish to keep up-to-date, please follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Alternatively, you can follow the blog via email using the sidebar to the right.

Let’s get better.

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