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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): An Overview

 

 11 January 2021

One common type of individual therapy is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).  CBT involves psychoeducation, cognitive and exposure therapy and stress management which enables people suffering from PTSD, addictions, mood and anxiety disorders to identify and confront negative thoughts.  Negative thoughts have a significant impact on the way we view ourselves and the action we take.  A form of negative thinking called repetitive negative thinking (RNT) is found to be a major feature of several emotional disorders. Repetitive negative thinking is typically intrusive and difficult to disengage from.  It may involve persistent upsetting memories and overly negative thoughts about oneself or the world.  Another goal of CBT is to increase one’s understanding of how their behaviors, thoughts and emotions interact.  One goal may be to bring awareness to difficult experiences and unhealthy coping mechanisms such as alcoholism or other addictions.  For example, someone may use substances to dull negative, intrusive thoughts or painful memories that they could not otherwise withdraw from; however, this can contribute to isolation, increased repetitive negative thinking and further distress.  While participating in CBT, individuals would begin to understand the recurring thought patterns which promote the cycle of addiction and other unhealthy coping behaviors.  Once those patterns are recognized, individuals can identify triggers that promote relapse and learn other ways to manage their thought processes and behavioral responses. For additional information about CBT, please check out these resources below: 

“CBT for daily life” by J. Satterfield

 “Change your thinking” by Sara Edelman

“Mind over Mood” by Greenberger & Padesky 

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 What Is Mindfulness Meditation? 

 5 January 2021

Your provider may recommend mindfulness meditation as part of your treatment plan.  Many people have different impressions when they hear “mindfulness” or “meditation”, but mindfulness meditation is really about attention and awareness training.  Mindfulness meditation can help you increase awareness of your internal state and learn how to more effectively regulate emotions.  It is a non-discriminatory way of acknowledging your emotions and the parts of your body that are affected during periods of stress.  Research has shown that mindfulness practices promote positive emotions and reduce negative emotions over time .  Mindfulness meditation also helps the individual to enhance self-control through exercises of managing their emotions, allowing more autonomy over a state of being that was previously considered out of their control.  Mindfulness practices can also be helpful in managing symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  If you are interested in learning more about mindfulness practices, you may be interested in checking out the books:

— “Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness” by Jon Kabat-Zinn.

 

— “The Mindfulness Prescription for Adult ADHD: An 8-Step Program for Strengthening Attention, Managing Emotions, and Achieving Your Goals”  by Lidia Zylowska

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