How CBT can change these patterns
Our experience of life is greatly determined by our core beliefs. These fundamental building blocks have the power to skew our understanding of what happens to us towards predictable conclusions.
In fact, many of us arrive at the same conclusions over and over again. Many of us have core beliefs that are not productive or helpful, so understanding these automated patterns of thought is critical to changing our reality. That’s where Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) comes in.
This should be good news. It means that counselling can fundamentally change the way we interact with the world for the better.
A more structured, straight-forward approach to counselling
We all know the stereotype of Freud tracing all of your flaws back to your mother. Well, CBT leaves that perspective in the 19th century where it belongs. In CBT counselling, rather than having long drawn out conversations about your childhood, you’ll get to the root of the issue by countering irrational thoughts and building a more constructive inner monologue.
CBT was invented by a psychotherapist named Dr. Aaron Beck who noticed his depressed clients frequently experienced negative ‘automatic thoughts’. Dr. Beck discovered a relationship between these automatic thoughts and clients’ core beliefs. This has been proven over and over again in research.
Negative thoughts lead to negative outcomes
Here’s an example that shows just how powerful core beliefs can be: It’s performance review time at Marvel headquarters and both T’Challa and Tony Stark get similar results. They both have mostly positive feedback with one constructive criticism. T’Challa is a bit disappointed, but confident he can improve and proud of his other accomplishments. Why? He has a core belief that his contributions are valuable.
Tony, on the other hand, can’t stop thinking about his one weakness. “How could I be so stupid?” he asks himself. Tony doesn’t bother taking steps to improve, because he’s convinced that he’s the problem. His core belief is that he will never be enough.
T’Challa and Tony were faced with the same situation, but their thoughts responding to it were very different. As he experiences setbacks over time, Tony might get more and more depressed as he continually sees challenges as an affirmation that he is not enough.
For both superheroes and all of us regular people, beliefs fuel emotions, emotions fuel behaviour.
If you think you are resilient and can overcome challenges, you’ll feel hopeful about the future, which will lead you to take steps to improve your situation. On the other hand, if you think you’re stupid and unworthy, you might feel sad and despondant, failing to take any action to better yourself or your situation.
Negative core beliefs are as common as they are irrational. Here are a few popular ones that lurk behind people’s sense of self:
I’m not smart enough.
No relationship lasts.
I’m not normal.
People are bad at heart.
I need to control my environment to manage my feelings.
Negative core beliefs are lies, but they are powerful unless you equip yourself with the mental agility to see beyond them. A counsellor trained in CBT will help you identify your core beliefs, challenge them, and develop new ways of thinking to help you succeed.
Feel better. Be better.
At Manifest Wellness, we like CBT for a few reasons:
- It helps us to get to the root of your problem and move forward in just eight sessions.
- It’s straightforward and easy to understand.
- It can be easily adapted to a variety of situations, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, grief, work stress, and addiction, to name a few examples.
- We find the no-nonsense approach is particularly helpful for men.
Statistics on CBT
- CBT is the most evidence-based treatment out there. There are over 20,000 scientific publications about CBT.
- The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the United Kingdom recommends CBT as the first approach for the treatment of anxiety disorders and depression.
- A systematic review of more than 100 clinical trials found that internet-based CBT was effective in treating depression, anxiety, eating disorders, cannabis use, and problem gambling.