Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most widely-used types of treatment for disorders including depression, anxiety, and many other mental health conditions. I use it regularly in my work with clients, and have seen significant positive improvement in attitude and general wellbeing when the principles of CBT are applied over time.
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?
CBT is a type of behavioral medicine that involves a set of methods to identify thoughts that aren’t helpful and reframe them in a more realistic manner. CBT also shows you how your thoughts combine and interact to form belief systems. Everyone has these core belief systems, but we’re often not aware of the power they can exert on our behavior. In our work together, I’ll provide exercises to help you bring both your thoughts and beliefs out into the light, so they won’t keep you from reaching your goals.
The principle behind CBT is that self-talk matters.
How CBT Works
To give you a sense of what this might look like, let’s look at one principle of CBT in action. Imagine you’re walking down the street and you see someone on the other side walking toward you. You get a little closer and recognize the person as someone you know from your Zumba class. You look up, smile, wave and shout “hi.” The other person keeps walking and doesn’t acknowledge you. There are many ways you could interpret this situation. Let’s break it down.
Event: You see an acquaintance across the street. You wave and they don’t wave back.
What would you say to yourself?
“She must not like me. I’m such a loser.”
“She must not have seen me.”
“She’s so stuck up. I can’t believe she didn’t say hi.”
Now, imagine how you’d feel in each case.
If you thought to yourself, “She must not like me,” you’d likely feel sad, embarrassed, or something along those lines.
If you thought to yourself, “She must not have seen me,” you’d likely feel pretty neutral, or maybe simply a little disappointed.
If you thought the person was stuck up, you might feel angry.
Notice that the event is the same. The only thing that has changed is your interpretation of the situation, or what you’re saying to yourself.
Through our work together, you’ll learn to envision likelier outcomes and realize that even in the worst-case scenario, you’d be able to dust yourself off and move on. You’ll also begin to give yourself more credit for the positive things you do instead of beating yourself up over perceived mistakes. These mindset changes are meant to spur you ahead to action, the cornerstone of confidence and a happier life.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy St. Louis
If you’re looking for a CBT therapist in St Louis, let me first congratulate you on taking a huge step towards better mental health. Whether you suffer from anxiety, depression or another disorder, CBT has been proven to help. As an expert in CBT therapy techniques, I can help you eliminate negative thoughts and build a foundation of self-talk for a more joyful and fulfilled life. Contact me today to get started on your journey.