Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one of the most powerful forms of treatment and, is being used by the medical profession to tackle depression, alcoholism, substance abuse, etc.
Our thoughts govern our moods. In turn, our moods govern our behaviors and our behaviors affect our health. CBT allows individuals to change thoughts therby lifting their moods, changing their behaviors and ultimately improving their health.
Through a structured process, CBT gets individuals to analyze their hot thoughts and rate their mood. Then each person is asked to write down any evidence, which either supports or destroys that hot thought. Based on the evidence, you are then asked to re-rate your mood. The fact is that when people go through this process virtually every time their mood is lifted. It’s a great technique because CBT is not telling you to look on the brighter side of life or to ignore the problem. It is getting you to analyze the situation and see if you have anything to worry about. On those odd occasions where the hot thought is valid, then the only option is to do something about it.
CBT utilizes a template called a daily thought record to capture the self-analysis. Here is an example, which I completed whilst worrying about work. My boss was to be fired and I thought I would have been next in line for the chop. It was a time in my life when I was desperately worried about money and the fear of losing my job made me desperately anxious...
|Situation||Mood/Rating (1-10)||Hot Thought||Evidence not to Support Hot Thought||Alternative Balanced Hot Thought Rating (1-10)|
|My Boss is Leaving||- Frightened
Mood = 3
|- I will lose my job in the next two weeks.
- There aren’t any good jobs out there.
- I will be unemployed for a long time.
- The rates will be low and I may not be able to pay the bills.
|- The new boss has a track record of getting rid of contractors.
- I am the most expensive contractor.
- I have done the difficult stuff. I am expendable It’s likely I will be released.
|It’s likely I will be released but I think I have sufficient time to find a really good role. I will be able to finish the book.
Mood = 8
My self-analysis allowed me to realise that, based on evidence, my situation wasn’t that bad. It was likely that I was to be released but I had sufficient time to find a really great job and, there were actual advantages to a short spell of unemployment, such as progressing the book. I re-evaluated my mood, and found it had changed so much, that I had lost my worry.