So, what is cognitive behavioral therapy? Well, let me start off by saying I am not a mental health professional, don’t pretend to be one, nor think that you should take my blog post as a diagnostic tool for whatever is rattling around in your noggin. There are some amazing mental health professionals out there, along with resources if you are in imminent danger – – Call 911 or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline STAT! Now that we have the disclosure out of the way, let’s talk CBT!
What is cognitive behavioral therapy? AKA whoa, the brain does some freaky stuff!
So many people are facing a mental health crisis or at least speed bump along their journey of life. Things over the last 20 years have just gotten more noisy, decisive, and isolating (both literally and figuratively). We are spending more time alone for various reasons.
However, we all know that we are never truly alone – – we always have our thoughts to keep us company. Sometimes those thoughts are not the most helpful. Especially if you have the “nobody likes me,” “it is all my fault,” and “gah, I mess everything up” kinds of thoughts often. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps us take those nasty thoughts and kick ’em to the curb just like Janet Jackson and those nasty boys…
Who’s that thinkin’ nasty thoughts?Janet Jackson
This Inc. article has some great personal/professional examples of some irrational thoughts, aka those nasty thoughts. But let’s start with the literal definition, what is cognitive behavorial therapy?
A type of psychotherapy in which negative patterns of thought about the self and the world are challenged in order to alter unwanted behavior patterns or treat mood disorders such as depression.Definition from Oxford Languages Dictionary
My experience with the process
Basically, from my experiences, it is taking all those bad/crazy/overzealous thoughts that derail us from our daily lives and turn them into more productive thoughts. Instead of “my best friend hates me” it becomes more “hmmm… maybe my friend has other things she needs to focus on right now.” Now doesn’t that sound a lot more helpful to operating through the day?
I have had irrational thoughts my whole life, spun many scenarios in my head, and if you have been around for a bit tried many strategies to feel “okay.” Until someone asked me if I knew what is cognitive behavioral therapy I was missing an important piece of the puzzle. Since CBT has come into my life it has helped immensely. I am still running, journaling in my bullet journal, implementing some of the strategies from Atomic Habits, and adding in the skills that my therapist has taught me. Life-changing, which is especially nice since life has been extra life-y!
Tools and online resources to learn more
Here are some quick resources to explore so you can see if looking for a CBT practitioner is the right fit for you.
- American Psychological Association CBT information
- What is CBT? | Making Sense of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
- Automatic Thoughts by WellCast
That’s a wrap!
Okay, that is SO not true. My journey to better mental health will be a life-long one, much like my love of learning. At least now I feel armed with a better road map to guide me through the journey.
You are important to me, I want you to take care of you! If you found any this feeling a lot like you, like you were nodding along with most of “What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?” and the resources, than I highly encourage you to find the right CBT practitioner for you.
NAMI has a great starting point or contact your health insurance provider.
Drop me a line if you want to chat or learn more about my experiences!