Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavior TherapyHave you ever been in a bad mood and then thought of something funny or happy and suddenly you were smiling? This common experience, and others like it, has prompted psychologists to develop therapies that improve our emotional life by improving our thinking patterns: These therapies are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and, it’s off-shoot, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).

Using the above as an example, we would say that the thing bothering you was a thought about something in your life. This thought carried with it a negative feeling; however, when another thought came into your mind—a happy one—it carried with it a positive feeling and immediately changed your mood. Sometimes we may feel more than one emotion about the same thought. For example, One might reflect on a past relationship and think, “I failed and it hurt. Relationships are so hard!” Later, one might think, “That was a great time, and it really helped me grow! If I hadn’t had that experience, I would never have been in the right frame of mind when I met my spouse!” The second of these thought patterns feels happy and the other feels sad.

The idea behind Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is that we can deliberately choose the happy thought pattern and subsequently elevate our mood at any time. It is not easy at first, but there is a very useful framework that can be learned to re-evaluate our thoughts and change our feelings about the things we experience.

These ideas have been part of psychology for some time. A more contemporary modification is known as Dialectical Behavior Therapy. This model puts forth activities that can help us change our feelings in times of distress or deal with situations with a calmer state of mind.

“…Dr. Marsha Linehan… found that traditional Cognitive Behavior Therapy alone was not as helpful… because of its strong focus on change… For this reason, she designed Dialectical Behavioral Therapy to include some elements that, in the past, were not traditionally part… for example, [she included] a strong emphasis on mindfulness and acceptance (both by the patient and the therapist).”

At Solutions Treatment Center, we use a variety of techniques to empower clients to find new ways to better deal with distress, negative thoughts and depressed or anxious feelings. If you are interested in learning more about the benefits and techniques of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, call one of our wonderful clinicians today!

Kim McIntosh, MA

Solutions – we can help you find your way again. Call one of our intake specialists for a free consultation – 877-499-1354 or 505-424-3170.

Sources:Hayes, SC. “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Relational Frame Theory, and the Third Wave of Behavior Therapy.” Behavior Therapy, 35:639-665, 2004.///Linehan, MM. Cognitive Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. New York: Guilford, 1993.///Segal, SV, Williams, JMG, & Teasdale, JD. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression: A New Approach to Preventing Relapse. New York: Guilford, 2001.