Perhaps everybody has a period in life that’s full of negative and anxious thoughts. While a person could have strong reasons behind such thoughts, maintaining a negative perspective about most of the things around you could lead to some health problems. Furthermore, let’s face it: nobody likes to feel bad, regardless of how “realistic” and justified it might be.
According to CNN, the National Alliance of Mental Illness has the idea of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for such types of problems, as it was designed to “uncover unhealthy patterns of thought and how they may be causing self-destructive behaviors and beliefs.” But you must remember that the therapy is not for everyone.
“Homework” is needed
Don’t expect the method to work in absolutely every case. First of all, it implies that the client will provide active participation. Also, factors such as systematic family problems or childhood trauma are not covered.
Here’s how the National Alliance of Mental Illness describes CBT, according to the advocacy group’s website:
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on exploring relationships among a person’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors. During CBT a therapist will actively work with a person to uncover unhealthy patterns of thought and how they may be causing self-destructive behaviors and beliefs.
The same source adds:
By addressing these patterns, the person and therapist can work together to develop constructive ways of thinking that will produce healthier behaviors and beliefs. For instance, CBT can help someone replace thoughts that lead to low self-esteem (“I can’t do anything right”) with positive expectations (“I can do this most of the time, based on my prior experiences”).
CNN spoke with two experts about CBT, and they were glad to offer more details. You can find the conversations on the television channel’s website.