Cognitive therapy – an overview
Cognitive therapy helps you to overcome your negative thoughts and unlock your deconstructive behavioral approaches. It enables you to see the reality as a different mindset that is more optimistic. It can also be argued that with the help of cognitive therapy a person gets a clearer and positive view on life, a view which was covered under the layers of self-doubt and criticism.
On a deeper level, cognitive therapy allows the psychologists to get in touch with your thoughts, emotions and behaviors without taking your past into consideration; which helps you to make different choices- the choices which you wont normally take due to a rusty layer of negative thoughts which are dominant on your mind.
Depression and anxiety in Pakistan:
In Pakistani culture, people have a more critical way to perceive therapy as a normal way out of your stress and anxiety issues. Even though people are now aware of the illness called depression but accepting it as an actual illness is still tabooed. Majority of people relate depression with sadness or laziness. Hence it is crucial that awareness about the term as well as its treatment is spread around.
CBT is known for treating depression mainly. These days it is used to treat a variety of conditions including panic disorders, PTSD, anxiety disorders, insomnia, phobias, marital conflicts and so on. It can generally be assumed that CBT allows a form of psychotherapy that helps in dealing with everyday crises and is not necessarily linked to depression entirely.
How it works:
Cognitive behavioral therapy relies on focusing on the present – letting go of past troubles and difficulties that may haunt an individual, and refocusing on present tasks and conditions. Think of it as taking one decision at a time, survival at its very core. It becomes less important to focus on how to pay next months rent, and more important to figure out the plan for today. It is a problem-specific and goal-oriented approach that equips an individual to deal with short term targets, and eventually leads towards a holistic approach to tackling one’s problems or issues. It is popular belief that cognitive behavioral therapy leads one to become his/her own therapist by enabling them to know or follow a specific plan of action when it comes to tackling issues that may lead to anxiety issues, depressive episodes and nervous breakdowns.
CBT at its core is a type of analysis that focuses on how a person’s thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes affect their feelings and behaviors. It helps people get rid of unhelpful behavior patterns, and helps them learn new beneficial ways of thinking and acting. During the passage of CBT, a patient can acquire a technique to identify problems efficiently, develop consciousness of their active thoughts and feelings, develop an enhanced perspective on different situations and generally learn to unlearn their negative thought patterns and habits that have led to difficulties for them in the past. It retrains an individual to break away from a depressive cycle of thinking negative thoughts and having negative energy all the time by retraining the said individual by actively training their conscious and subconscious via a slew of therapy practices.
Approaches of CBT to deal with depression:
Cognitive behavioral therapy uses many techniques and tools to 5take your mind and thinking patterns on a different road. It helps people to create the lifestyle which will help them take control of their stress and anxiety when they are likely to go down the road of Self-questioning and self-negation. Some of the techniques which can help to change your daily routine will turn your life on and completely different scale.
It will always help you to record your thoughts and make a matured decision about how much important are the things which are causing you anxiety. By writing them down on a paper will allow you to release all your anger, disappointment or frustration. Tracking down your behavior pattern will make you see them from a different and more realistic lens. Besides that, you can have a daily journal of your daily activities which will inject the idea of being in control in you.
If you fear some situations to happen, then cognitive therapy will guide you through a process which will enhance your skills to slowly accept your fears. Systematic desensitization is a similar method where you learn coping methods in a stressful situation to help you deal with your emotions.
Black and white thinking:
While dealing with depression and anxiety issues, a patient thinks in a black or white pattern, per se he/she will only see life on two extreme points. CBT tries to reconstruct your negative thinking, jumping to conclusions, etc. and it will try to unpack these thoughts that will give you a clearer view on life.
Any worthwhile activity, each day will help increase overall positivity and uplifting your mood. Fresh flowers or fruit for yourself, watching a movie you love, or outing, etc. can make your day better because self-help techniques like these upheavals your mood and fill yourself with feelings of contentment.