I’ve had many other counselors over the years and I chose you because of your focus on CBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy). But, I really relate to your more analytical, organized, solution focused approach verses just letting me talk and you listen. It feels more pragmatic.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the major tools used in psychotherapy. CBT assumes that the way that people perceive situations is more closely connected to their reaction than the situation itself. Unfortunately, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Simply put, a therapist’s job when using CBT is to help clients identify the thoughts that pop up into their minds, evaluate, and respond to them. The assumption is that when clients are able to do this, they feel better and can act in accordance with their goals. One critical component underlying all aspects of CBT is that just because you think something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true.
Here’s a list of the common issues I use Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with:
Assertiveness & Boundaries
At its core, assertiveness is a way of sharing your thoughts or feelings with others in way that allows both people to be respected and valued. Assertiveness is not the same as being aggressive. Assertiveness ensures that everyone’s rights and points of view are respected while still communicating important information.
Codependency is defined as doing all the work, never getting what you need and suffering all the consequences. Often we just put other peoples’ needs ahead of our own. We never seem to be respected or valued by others, no matter how much we do. Breaking this cycle is critical in order to gain healthy relationships where mutual respect, appreciation and reciprocation can exist between equals. Left unchecked, codependency can cripple us.
Emotional & Verbal Abuse
Typically, emotional and verbal abuse are done in the shadows; only the partner of the abuser tends to be aware of it. They become more intense over time as we start to get used to being treated poorly. You start walking on eggshells. Worse, our perceptions of the abuse are dismissed by our partner as we’re told that we are the real problem, not them.
Gaslighting is a form of intentional manipulation and abuse. Its aim is to isolate and brainwash the victim so as to make them question their reality, memory or perceptions. control their version of reality. The gaslighting itself uses force and is often based on flimsy evidence. It is a favorite tool of narcissists and can be used to intentionally gain authority over a victim’s life.
“You only hurt the ones you love” is the most dangerously subtle statement that exists today. It is hard to understand why our loved ones want to control and dominate us. We cannot understand them because we assume that they think like we do. Instead, they have their own “private logic” which is totally different from how most people view the world. These toxic relationships are dangerous to the people that love them.
“I’m my own worst critic,” we might say in a sudden moment of insight. Learning to be less critical and more compassionate towards ourselves can often be a challenge. Self-compassion involves being aware of our own pain and suffering, and understanding that this is a hard, but normal human experience. Feelings of kindness and care towards ourselves seem almost impossible to accept.
Self Esteem & Self-Compassion
People talk about self esteem all the time. Yet somehow, phrases like “I’m a good person” or “I’m worthwhile and valuable” seem somewhat disingenuous. These aspects of self-esteem lack two crucial elements: First, they’re not believable. And second, they don’t address the real issue, buried down deep: We really do feel that we are unlovable, worthless, or permanently stuck because of who we are, or that we don’t add value to the world.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
The key element behind GAD is extreme anxiety, worry and an intense intolerance of uncertainty. Over time, the worry becomes persistent, repetitive and uncontrollable. We end up rushing around trying to find solutions to our problems, yet we never end up finding any sort of relief.
Major Depressive Disorder
We focus on the automatic thoughts that have to do with the self, the world, the future. Nothing feels good or, worse, we don’t get any real joy or satisfaction from the things we used to enjoy anymore. Feelings of helplessness, worthlessness and hopelessness are common. It’s difficult to cope even in the best of times and everyone around us doesn’t seem to understand what’s wrong with us.