How CBT can help

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy focuses on your perception of yourself, the world and other people around you, and how these affects the way you think and feel. Situations can be interpreted differently, depending on how we perceive the events around us, and this perception can have a knock on effect in relation to our emotions and behaviours.

The vicious circle of thoughts, emotions and behaviours

Consider the following example:

Event: You hand your boss some work that you have put considerable time and effort into. Your boss takes the work and puts it on his desk without much reaction.
Thought: They have instantly dismissed the work as not good enough.
Emotion: Feeling dejected, useless.
Behaviour: Lack of effort in the future and avoidance of the boss.

A healthier response to the same situation:

Thought: They are probably busy and will review it later.
Emotion: Optimistic about their reaction.
Behaviour Ask the following day if they've had time to look at it.

These are two very different paths that lead from the same event.

By making links between what we do, think, and feel, CBT can help us make changes in the way we think ("Cognitive") and the way we act ("Behaviour").

Making changes in what we think will affect what you do and feel, and changes what we do, affects the way we think and feel. Making these changes then help us feel better.

Whilst it is helpful to discuss the past and understand how our pasts have influenced our lives and how problems have arisen, CBT mostly focuses on ways to improve your mental wellbeing now.

CBT says that it is not the event which causes our emotions, but how we interpret that event - what we think or what meaning we give that event or situation.

CBT can help you to break the vicious cycles of negative thinking, feelings and behaviours. When you see the parts of the vicious cycle clearly, you can change them- therefore change the way you feel. It can also be helpful to change the way our thoughts and feelings affect our bodies, and the physical sensations that we can experience.

NHS
N.I.C.E
The Hackwood Partnership
Natural Therapies Clinic
BABCP