How Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Can Help?

Low Self Esteem
It’s hard to make repairs if you don’t know where the problem areas are. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help break down the thought process to enable a positive outcome of Low Self Esteem. Poor Self Esteem is a broad experience involving complex emotions, but is possible to overcome by Logic.

The Therapist & The Client

  • The Therapist teaches clients to improve their Self Esteem by recognising the relationship between their thoughts, feelings, and behaviour (what to do).
  • By teaching clients to first see these negative automatic thoughts, identifying the underlying errors in their thinking and challenging them by rewriting the thoughts in a more alternative and balanced way.
  • Thoughts become hypothesis to test rather than truths to be taken on board and acted upon.
  • Client and Therapist collaboratively draw up a problem list of the things they want to competently and effectively overcome as a result of treatment.

Examples of Negative Thought

  • I am not good enough
  • I am Ugly
  • I am not Lovable
  • I am Stupid
  • I am inferior
  • I am Fat
  • I am Weak/Vulnerable
  • I am a bad person
  • I am a Failure
  • I hate myself

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help break those negative thought processes down and find a path to healing.
Eating Disorders
Structured treatment focusing on the present and the future.
Therapist and Client

  • The Therapist helps the client to examine which factors are maintaining their disorder and to set personalised goals that are addressed throughout the various phases of CBT.
  • CBT stresses education and skills training to help the client gain understanding of themselves and their eating disorder, so that healing can occur.
  • Behavioural Phase : Client and Therapist work together to formulate a plan for stabilising eating and eliminating symptoms. Emotions often build up during this phase of treatment. Coping strategies (tools) for managing these feelings are put into place and a become an important part of the work.
  • Includes in-session activities as well as homework so that new behaviour can be practiced.
  • Cognitive Phase : As Treatment progresses, cognitive restructuring techniques (aimed at looking & changing problem thinking patterns) are introduced.
  • Thoughts and beliefs that act on the problem are focused on (happiness happens when I loose this weight) Aimed at developing new ideas and perspectives.
  • At this stage wider concerns such as relationship problems, body image, self esteem, emotional aspects are addressed.
  • Maintaining & Relapse Prevention Phase : Final stage of CBT. This concentrates on reducing triggers to prevent relapse.
  • The overall goal of the treatment is to help the client in making their return to a healthy and fulfilling life.
  • Once symptoms are grounded treatment will move onto other areas of concern and conflict that can help clients move towards well-being.

Anxiety Disorder
Are very common and one in eight people have an Anxiety Disorder in their lifetime. CBT can treat multiple types of anxiety disorders.
Cognitive Components:

  • Therapist helps the client identify and question the thinking patterns that cause or trigger the feelings of anxiety. (Feelings of having a heart attack or passing out)
  • CBT can help the client question these negative automatic thoughts.
  • Help panic attack sufferers to replace those thoughts with a more balanced and alternative approach.

Behavioural Component:

  • Therapist and clients build up their exposure to anxiety provoking situations. Client induced into a relaxed state.
  • Therapist and client list activities; seeing pictures of planes, imagining themselves flying. (Fear of Flying)
  • The idea of this approach is that the clients sensitivity lowers. She/He learns from repeated experience not to fear the problematic situation.

Cognitive Component:

  • Treatment of Depression is divided into its cognitive and behavioural component.
  • In the Cognitive component the Therapist and client learn to identify the distorted negative thinking which cause negative emotions.
  • Therapist and Client then question the extentity of these thoughts. Negative thoughts are replaced with balanced thoughts.
  • Learn core beliefs and underlying the daily automatic negative thoughts. (I am a Loser, I am worthless, I won’t be able to finish this task) He/She starts to feel down with low motivation and energy.
  • CBT can help by bringing in these balanced thoughts to help reconstruct the negative.

Behavioural Component:

  • Therapist helps the client assess how the different daily activities have an impact on the clients mood and how some of them cam improve their symptoms of depression.
  • Develop and action plan. Based on behavioural approach.
  • Therapist and client list a range of activities and place the list in order of less and more difficult to achieve.
  • As the client goes from harder from easier to activity his/her feelings of experience improves as the depression lessens.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

  • Therapist and Client will explore meanings and beliefs about negative automatic thoughts and rituals in their guises (tapping, touching, washing, repeating cleaning etc)
  • Client will learn the meanings they attach to such thoughts and rituals.
  • During the first sessions the Therapist will make time to understand how the OCD works and what keeps it going.
  • The idea behind this is to assertain the factors that keep the problem alive. The next step can then be achieved.
  • To think about alternative ways of viewing the problem and what we can do to change it.

Exposure and Response Prevention:

  • Being exposed to what makes the client feel anxious without checking or carrying out other rituals. CBT then uses behavioural experiements.
  • This can help the client find out what happens when they do not check or perform their rituals.

Being asked to face your fears is one of the bravest parts of treatment, and helping a client understand their cognitive reasons behind the exercise, and being there to help encourage and motivate them to be able to face the challenges it involves.
*OCD is just a thought and what CBT will teach clients is that it’s not the thoughts themselves that are the problem; it’s what people make of those thoughts and how they respond to them is the key to recover from OCD*

Compossed of internal pressure generated from the outside world that causes us to feel ‘under threat’.

  • On the first session a series of CBT diagnostic tests are given to assess both the internal and external stressors which are contributing to the presence of excessive stress reactions.
  • Personality tests are given to determine type A or B personality variables:
    Striving for Achievement
    Low self esteem
    Lack of relaxation

These can contribute to feelings of being under pressure and high arousal. By learning to become more aware of physical tension there is an increased resistance to stress.

  • Identifying what causing negative thoughts, clients learn to see the themes which cause negative thinking.
  • Mood and Behaviour change as clients restructure their thinking in a balanced way.
  • Final stage, works on core beliefs that have been developed in their early life. These underwritten beliefs form a view on how we see ourselves.
  • Clients learn to adapt these deeply held beliefs which can help against relapse.

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