Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Tracy Foster, Dip.Couns, Dip.CBT Registered (MBACP)
22nd January, 20150 Comments
Are negative thoughts affecting your present day living?
Negative thinking habits can leave us feeling frustrated, angry, despondent, fearful and can lead us to not doing something we might be capable of, whether that be a new job, hobby or widening our social circle, and even fuel certain health conditions.
This negative thinking can often come from our past – how, as a younger person, we made sense of and interpreted “our world” by our beliefs, ideas, images and memories. Negative thinking can also run on autopilot in our brains well out of our awareness, so while we are living in the present and we come across something in our daily lives that triggers these negative thoughts, then it pops up out of the blue and can cause uncomfortable emotions and feelings, the consequence being that we behave accordingly and limit our potential.
Cognitive behaviour therapy can help you explore these thoughts and support you to make changes to any mal-adaptive thinking, helping you look at your situation in a new way. It is especially effective if you suffer anxiety and depression for example, or a variety of other physical or mental health conditions.
What happens in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)? Typically each session will last around 50 minutes, and will look at your background thinking and how you apply that thinking to the present. It focusses on problematic issues you identify as a priority and together, you and your therapist will agree a treatment plan and approximate amount of sessions (with regular reviews) – which could be approximately eight to 10 sessions. CBT encourages actively working with your therapist and agreeing to undertake “homework” tasks to reach realistic goals.
CBT is a bit different than some counselling approaches, whereby it is more structured and directive and focusses on present day problem-solving but still includes the core conditions of counselling, offering empathy, support and confidentiality.
It can be hard work, as our negative thinking can be so ingrained, but it’s a new life-skill giving you the opportunity to fulfil new potential with your new self-awareness. We cannot change the past but we can explore our reactions to it and find out how negative responses affect our future. By working on this new skill you open up the opportunity to find more desirable and appropriate thoughts to present day issues or worries.
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