In the realm of mental health, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has emerged as a powerful and effective approach to understanding and treating various psychological issues. With its focus on the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, CBT offers individuals the opportunity to gain insight into their patterns of thinking and make positive changes that lead to improved mental well-being. In this blog, we will delve into the fundamentals of CBT, explore its benefits, and highlight how it can empower individuals to transform their lives.
1. Understanding the Basics of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a goal-oriented, evidence-based approach that addresses the interplay between our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It recognizes that our perceptions and interpretations of events shape our emotional responses and subsequent actions. By identifying and challenging negative or distorted thoughts, CBT helps individuals reframe their thinking patterns, leading to healthier emotions and behaviors.
2. Identifying Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Distortions:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy involves recognizing and addressing cognitive distortions—irrational or inaccurate thought patterns that contribute to negative emotions and behaviors. Common cognitive distortions include all-or-nothing thinking, overgeneralization, mental filtering, and catastrophizing. By becoming aware of these distortions, individuals can learn to challenge and replace them with more realistic and balanced thoughts.
3. Restructuring Negative Thoughts:
Once cognitive distortions are identified, CBT focuses on restructuring negative thoughts through a process called cognitive restructuring. This technique involves examining the evidence for and against negative thoughts, finding alternative explanations, and developing more adaptive and constructive ways of thinking. By actively replacing negative thoughts with positive and realistic ones, individuals can significantly improve their emotional well-being.
4. Behavior Modification:
CBT not only addresses thoughts and beliefs but also emphasizes behavior modification. By identifying and altering maladaptive behaviors that contribute to psychological distress, individuals can break negative cycles and develop healthier patterns of functioning. Through techniques such as exposure therapy, behavioral experiments, and problem-solving strategies, CBT equips individuals with practical tools to overcome challenges and achieve positive behavioral changes.
5. Developing Coping Skills:
Another crucial aspect of CBT is the development of effective coping skills. Individuals learn adaptive strategies to manage stress, regulate emotions, and handle challenging situations. By acquiring and practicing these coping skills, individuals become more resilient and better equipped to navigate life’s difficulties, reducing the risk of relapse and promoting long-term well-being.
6. Collaborative Therapeutic Relationship:
CBT is typically conducted in a collaborative therapeutic relationship between the individual and the therapist. The therapist acts as a guide and facilitator, providing support, empathy, and guidance throughout the therapy process. This collaborative approach fosters a safe and trusting environment, enabling individuals to explore their thoughts and emotions without judgment.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a transformative approach that empowers individuals to take an active role in their mental well-being. By addressing negative thought patterns, restructuring cognitive distortions, modifying behaviors, and developing coping skills, CBT offers a path to lasting change. Whether you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, or other mental health concerns, CBT can provide the tools and insights needed to overcome challenges and lead a more fulfilling life. Embrace the power of CBT and unlock the potential for positive transformation in your journey towards mental well-being.
4 incredible Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT) products you’ll wish you discovered sooner
The therapy strategy known as Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT) was created by psychologist Paul Gilbert. To address difficulties relating to self-criticism, shame, and self-compassion, it draws on a variety of disciplines including evolutionary psychology, neuroscience, and Buddhist psychology.
CFT seeks to foster inner warmth and acceptance as well as compassion for oneself and others. It acknowledges that a lot of psychological issues stem from how people relate to themselves and others, which is frequently marked by self-criticism, shame, and a lack of self-compassion. In order to promote emotional healing and wellbeing, CFT aims to cultivate compassion. This secure and caring atmosphere is created within.
The main tenets of CFT are as follows:
1. Compassionate Mind Training:
Compassion Focused Therapy uses techniques including mindfulness, visualisation, and compassionate self-talk to help people cultivate a compassionate mind. The aim is to establish a kind, loving, and understanding attitude towards oneself and others as well as to promote self-compassion.
2. Evolutionary psychology:
Compassion Focused Therapy investigates how human emotions and behaviours have evolved through time. It recognises that our brains have evolved to be extremely perceptive to dangers and self-protection, but it emphasises the necessity of striking a balance between this and the capacity for self-soothing and demonstrating love and caring.
3. Emotional Regulation:
Compassion Focused Therapy focuses on assisting people in controlling and managing challenging emotions including anger, humiliation, and guilt. People can develop emotional resilience by cultivating a caring mindset, which teaches them how to calm down and comfort themselves when confronted with difficult feelings.
4. Relational Focus:
Compassion Focused Therapy recognises how important connections are to maintaining our wellbeing. It places a strong emphasis on developing compassionate connections with oneself and others. People can improve their capacity to relate to others in a loving and empathic way by cultivating a compassionate mentality.
Numerous mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, trauma, eating disorders, and personality disorders have been treated using compassion-focused therapy. It can be used in conjunction with other therapeutic modalities or as a stand-alone therapy.
While I can give broad information on compassion-focused therapy, it is always advised to seek the advice of a licenced mental health professional who specialises in this method for a thorough knowledge and direction.
DIL KI BAAT, DIL SE
Pankaj was working hard to become a doctor. Pankaj’s desire was to get medical education from a good foreign university. His hard work paid off and he got selected for a medical program in a college in the United States. Pankaj was from an aristocratic business family. All the family members were successful businessmen to whom name and money were all that mattered. His father and all the other elders of the family also wanted to see Pankaj in business. The admission offer was on the table but his family avoided the subject. All other topics of conversation except those concerning business were out of bounds. Pankaj’s dream remained incomplete.
Vandana was meritorious, cheerful and talented. She wanted to have a better career and had the passion to make a difference in life. Even though she had her own ambitions and desires, her family married her off to an affluent man, as is the case in many middle class families. Despite all the material comforts the family had access to , they were often deprived of the luxury of communicating with each other.
Rashmi graduated top of her class and got accepted in a post graduate management course. She fell in love with a classmate who was in the same program as her. The two of them dreamt of spending their lives together. Yet, they didn’t breach the subject to their families for fear of rejection and disapproval.
Shivkaran ji retired after 35 years of service in a big company and got a lot of money after retirement. His children were busy with their jobs in other cities and Shivkaran ji was ‘ busy ‘ with his solitary life. He had no one to talk to.
Nitin got married with a beautiful bride but even after four years could not become a parent. He was plagued by the judgmental looks that he received from the people around him. Hesitating to go to the doctor, Nitin slowly became irritable.
There are many such instances in real life where our inability to communicate hinders our dreams and aspirations. We will find many examples in family, business and in our social circles where lack of communication has led people to become depressed. In an increasingly connected world, real communication has become a rare thing to find. Loneliness is an epidemic that plagues individuals of all ages. Moving away from families, our inability to truly share our thoughts and feelings as well as having fewer real life social connections have only added to the existing problems. If you observe the state of people today, pretending to be ‘busy’ on their phones rather than speaking to people in front of them, you will realize why isolation and loneliness are such prevalent concepts in the modern world.
Thus, to ensure our positive role in the society we wanted to bring a platform, where people can express their views, share their problems and discuss solutions- DIL KI BAAT, DIL SE.
“Aaloo Ka Parantha”
“Aaloo Ka Parantha”, the Desi Rasoi for the Desi Minds.
The Masala way of Understanding Acceptance of the Untold, Unseen!!!
Reading about the heading makes our taste buds salivate without even thinking of the body mass index and brings before us the fantasy image of a butter soaked parantha garnished with coriander and curd. The vocal cords go “Ohm so yummy”!!! No matter how much you would like to control your mind, the first image it will have will be of the parantha, travelling to the kitchen of your grandparents and mothers with loads of narration of satisfying taste buds which after a point really don’t seem to be satisfied!!! It seems that the four taste buds have an excellent function of managing “routine” looking for the digits to tick its way through the day thus creating an image of having another delicious meal!!!
The latter part of the heading will make its way into our cognitive area after some amount of fantasy and dreaming about the past and future have taken place and then suddenly would like to come back, when half of the creativity gets lost without purpose!!
With “aloo Ka parantha” pleasing our taste buds during any one quarter of the day, leaves a petite area for rancour. But honestly speaking, here is a big revelation that I could “tie-in” with while having the most palatable food. So, while enjoying the wheat bread soaked in butter, relished with the “yummy” factor, it could happen that out mouth remains wide -open and the tongue just shows its defiance in taking in the parantha. A piece of “chilli” naturally camouflaged with wheat and aaloo with masala , enters our mouth, ready to stop us from enjoying the food, getting crushed by the canines , ready to be dissolved with the saliva along with aaloo , aata and masala and pushed into the stomach by the strongest muscle as quickly as possible as a matter of escaping the “off taste” situation. Still the mixture outstands the audacity of “green chilli”. Too hard to have a pleasurable eating experience then…. But no pleasurable option seems viable at that instant!! Can I have anything to replace the “yummy” parantha? Not really……no option other than acceptance !!!
A horrible “blazing” experience that was beyond the subjective definition of tasty and “yummy” food forces us to feel the unaccepted experience, something that was unintentionally untold and unseen. Tearing a piece of juicy part from the whole with a layer of curd prevented us from thinking about something that was quite inherent. So here, we could not see what was coming but still took some time to accept the unseen and still moved on with the second take. We took that “blaze”, a feeling of being uncomfortable and also started looking for alternate strategy to cover up the “blazing” feeling and carry on with the process of satisfying our basic physiological need that has seen evolution in the nature of its tabling. As we came across this, we quickly developed the skill to manage it to come back to the base and enjoy the food again.
A practical way of dealing with the unpleasant taste is by looking out for water, something sweet, but surprisingly not running away. We do not leave the parantha on the table and run away showing inappropriate adjustment to the sudden situation. We try and maintain the feeling of having a delightful meal by cognitively travelling to our grandparents’ kitchen, to that of mothers to that of overcoming the nasty experience. With the “chilli” experience we would suddenly stop in the ‘yummy’ journey of changing hands but preserving the taste and would consequently develop the feeling of being careful of having the second one after the initial event resulting in the “ill – at- ease” feeling. So, travelling back and forth is a normal activity of the mass in our “skull”, a function that it has been doing since the stone age. What has changed are the governing factors of human behaviour that are governed by different societal needs that are in -fact governed by individual likings and disliking’s. Person who loves to have chilli would not have had such an experience.
Considering the wheat bread as the expansive life in its various forms with problems in the form of masalas and spices, running away from it would not have helped. Maybe we would have remained hungry or adjusted to the unsavoury feeling with irritation, lacking in subjective adaptive skills! What we fail to understand is that the experience of “blaze” is always untold. With the function of the brain evolving, it plans out life actions with its own limited understanding, left to the human beings to carve out the whole story by “joining the parts”.
Agreeable enough, accepting is a difficult task, but accepting the “blaze” of a chilli will leave you open to take up steps and move ahead like finishing the parantha and achieving some goal for that time. You will try and finish it as quickly as possible!!
Avoiding the activity of getting back to normalcy after heighted emotional reaction during dining, will lead to more struggles. Leaving the parantha and eating something else does not leave you with a better option. Just in case you leave the parantha that gave you the “blaze’ and take hold of another one. You are unintentionally under-developing yourself by escaping from the unexpected and thus become irritable and angry during the second venture. You will even be more careful of gulping down the “edible monster” by mistakenly looking for “dhania” or “kasuri methi” and loading it with the cognitive image which was not “tasty” and therefore start a process of generalisation. We become hypothetical, suppositional at every step, resulting in enjoying less in the present moment and thinking of something that has no evidence yet. Please have mercy on the our ‘brains”…it really has to make uncountable cells work for our any action…..Let it rest and rejuvenate for another activity that really needs it to work !!!
However…as human beings , we all need to think about the future as that helps us to keep us intact and existing, but worrying about a problem that has its roots in the present requires us to deal with it “now” so that future can be well structured. Most of the times the future worries are the extension of present worries, about their nature and the effects which we perceive to be hanging in the future without a strong, evident foundation. Hypothetical nature and suppositional outlook therefore carry itself from the stomach to the mind. The second parantha will lose its purpose transforming itself into a stimulus of fear and anxiety, similarly, hanging in the unpredictable future gives us less space to enjoy or work upon the present moment.
With transcending boundaries from the kitchen to the dining room to the bedroom or the study makes us well equipped to leave the work of each space in the respected area. Let us not go too far…but understanding that each room with its own specifications as environmental stimuli requires us to deal with the immediate change with immediate effect. So, are not we capable of change…we do? It is only that we don’t see the undiscovered…..where we are constructively making changes especially during these times such as cooking, cleaning, doing office work, adapting to the e-world that starts from school to any social contact that we would like to make!! We have grown up in our skills without even realising it but what we are interested in doing is what will happen after three months? A question to which probably there are no answers yet but instead of being appreciating of ourselves of being able to carry us through these difficult and unpredictable times , I think enjoying our otherwise ignored capacities need praise that lays down a constructive foundation for the future.
As moving from “aaloo ka parantha” to pizza or burger has seen transformation issues from generations that seem difficult to converge at a point but understanding the “why and how” of the divergent points brings us much closer to connect to the “tie-in” tools. Moving from the Indian “rasoi” to Indian minds was a medium of savoury connection that could help us to relate better and thus overcome our disliking or in some cases adjust to situation and move on , like the “chilli” in the parantha and yet probably enjoying the “second innings” with the inherent acceptance of the “chilli” that cannot hopefully be mistaken for Dhania or Kasuri Methi . This response is better equipped and better skilled.
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