Popular CBT Techniques To Help You Move Forward In Life
October 6th 2022
Collins Counselling is a Kamloops counsellor that aims to provide a safe and gentle space for people to explore their personal journeys. With our Kamloops counselling company we believe that increasing self-awareness through effective therapy techniques is the first step in becoming a healthier, happier and richer human being. Our therapy services are varied as we believe in a multi-disciplinary approach and that includes Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – also commonly known as CBT.
CBT is a type of psychotherapeutic treatment used to keep a client’s mental state in check. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can be especially useful for treating fears or phobias, mood disorders, insomnia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to the CBT model, our thoughts and emotions can influence our behaviours in any situation. In Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, you can use a combination of techniques to examine the rationale behind your thought patterns and help you alter your thought process and therefore the outcome.
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There are several useful cognitive behavioural therapy exercises a counsellor can use as part of an effective therapy regime. You may not need to be with a counsellor to use all of them! Here are some of the most popular CBT methods you can use on your own to help you move forward with life:
Cognitive journaling is a great way to observe and release the thought patterns we have daily.
Journaling can help you treat magnification and catastrophising which are common symptoms of anxiety, PTSD and depression.
CBT Journaling can open you up to a broader perspective. You may find that by putting your emotions and thoughts on paper, and in your own words, you can gain some momentum in the process of working through them. CBT Journaling can help you feel less overwhelmed and more grounded as you explore recurring themes or influences throughout your writing.
Relaxation, Stress Reduction and Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a cognitive behaviour therapy technique borrowed from Buddhism. The term mindfulness means compassionate and lucid awareness alongside a sense of knowing what is happening in the external and internal world as it is happening. Mindfulness can involve waking up and checking in to what’s happening within ourselves so we can make wise choices.
Daily meditation practice encourages people to see how certain patterns lead to the escalation of emotions. Plus, it allows us to focus on what actions lead to more wholesome outcomes in our everyday lives.
Relaxation and mindfulness techniques can help you quiet your mind so you can think more rationally and logically.
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Visualization, whether picturing an task or a journey, can open the therapeutic dialogue and help you express complex emotions. Recording positive thoughts, and even sharing those thoughts with trusted friends, can help you form new associations in your mind or create new neural pathways. There are a number of different visualization exercises you can use to help you move forward in life. Visualization is typically used alongside other CBT techniques, such as mindfulness and meditation, to boost the effectiveness of both.
Visualization can help you:
• Gain confidence
• Gain insight, understanding and inner wisdom
• Improve mood states
• Enter a meditative state
Therapeutic role-playing has been shown to be an incredibly effective technique for treating phobias. Role play can help you build confidence levels by giving you the tools and resources to deal with fears. You and your counsellor can use role play to act out a scene and help you analyze the patterns you tend to exhibit. Then as a result, you learn how to change your response to arrive at a different outcome.
Restructuring and Reframing
Cognitive restructuring or cognitive reframing is a therapeutic process that can help you discover, challenge, modify or replace your negative, irrational thoughts (aka cognitive distortions). The practice encourages you to shift your mindset so you can look at a situation, relationship or person from a slightly different perspective.
It can be particularly effective if you are caught in a negative thought pattern. Restructuring and reframing can help you validate emotions, explore your compassion and change your point of view.