Yesterday my cat, Calypso, decided that the little food she had left would not last her the night and demanded my attention to it. It was 9:30pm and I was in my comfy clothes, not planning to venture out into the rain for the rest of the night.
I immediately felt annoyed by her overraction. 'Is she serious? She's got plenty to last her until tomorrow evening! Grrrr.'
I had a few choices on how to respond to this situation. I decided to use a CBT skill I knew to deal with her in way that didn't get me annoyed for the rest of the night. I decided to 'reframe' my thoughts to 'I was planning to go to the store tomorrow anyway-I can do it now instead and get her food since she doesn't understand she won't starve tonight. OH! AND BONUS! I won't be meowed at all night!'
Do I always have the clarity of mind to use all the therapy skills I know? I wish. I don't know anyone who does. It does take practice to change how we may cope with a situation in an unhealthy or undesired way.
One of the forms of therapy that I use in treatment with clients is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT, mentioned above).
CBT is a form of therapy that looks at the connections between thoughts/cognition, feelings/emotions and actions/behaviours. It is a structured therapy where the client and therapist work together to reframe maladaptive thought patterns and reactions to situations that trigger unwanted emotional responses and cognitive distortions (where our actions do not match our thinking) creating stress, anxiety and/or depression.
I find CBT strategies help me in my own life and find myself 'reframing" situations so that I can cope and respond to them in a way that works better for me.
Our brains and thoughts are more malleable than many of us think. This is good news!
See how Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help you or a loved one.
Can cognitive behavioural therapy really change our brains?
~Amira Lodhi, MSW