May 26, 2019
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What is Cognitive Therapy and How Does it Work?

Cognitive therapy is a form of treatment for a variety of psychological issues such as addiction, depression, anxiety, marital conflict, personality disorders, and more. It has gained popularity because it is effective and gives patients long-term coping skills. This form of therapy is used to change the way you think about your emotions and behaviors. It gives you a foundation for improvement and introspective thinking. It is important to know why you feel the way you do and how you react to life events and your emotions.

The idea behind cognitive therapy

Cognitive therapy is based on the idea that how we feel depends on the way we think. Many mental health issues stem from people having a distorted view of themselves or the world around them. This means that when people change their way of thinking, they can resolve a significant part of their mental health issues.

For example, if you run into an old friend and greet them but they react negatively or passively, you might feel rejected. Then you might be inclined to internalize this feeling and wonder if they don’t like you or think that you are a bad person. In reality, though, they might just be having a bad day. It is best to take situations like this, compassionately examine them, and change how you internalize them. Cognitive therapy is essentially based on tackling the way you think about yourself.

What does it help

Cognitive therapy can help people cope with a variety of mental health issues, whether it be depression, anxiety, or other mood disorders. When struggling with poor mental health people tend to think about things as good or bad, or black and white. This leads to polarized thinking that is restrictive and unhealthy. Cognitive therapy guides you to recognize that there is always a spectrum in any given situation and that life is full of ups and downs. There is no “wrong” emotion or feeling. Cognitive therapy is a great way to learn about yourself and get to know the best self-help you can practice.

Cognitive therapy is beneficial for stress as well because it teaches you to not focus on the negative. Often, those who are stressed find what they did wrong or could have done better. Instead, it is best to take occurrences like these and learn from them moving forward. Cognitive therapy is a great way to train your brain to handle stress better.  

What to do if you want to try it

If you or a loved one are interested in psychotherapy, a ton of resources are available. There are also many places you can go to receive cognitive therapy in NYC. The best thing to do is to meet with some cognitive therapy specialists who can help you pick the right focus for you. It is important that you find someone you connect with who encourages accountability when going through this form of therapy.

Books and podcasts are great ways to learn more about cognitive therapy before diving in. For the deeply curious, you can head to a scientific database of psychological and medical research and read about past studies based on patient experiences. This form of therapy has much scientific support and many success stories surrounding it.  Educating yourself on the research behind cognitive therapy can also help you realize how positive it is. You don’t necessarily have to be in a poor mental state to want to improve your way of thinking through cognitive therapy—it can truly be for anyone.

Take into consideration what your mental health goals are and give it a shot. You will be surprised when looking at how your life could significantly improve by learning more about cognitive therapy techniques.

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