Often clients are referred to my office to for Cognitive Therapy or Cognitive Behavioral (CBT). Once they arrive at my office it is not uncommon for these clients to ask what CBT is. Having said that I thought it would be appropriate to write this blog to help educate clients.
Cognitive Therapy was pioneered by Dr Aaron T. Beck in the 1950’s and is the most widely used form of psychotherapy to date. Cognitive Therapy can be used for a number of problems such as; depression, anxiety, panic disorder, phobias, eating disorders, stress, just to name a few.
What is Cognitive Therapy? Well “cognitive” means the way we think or our thought process. This includes our perception of how we view events in our lives and our historical experiences. It also includes our worldly knowledge, how we understand the world around us.
How is this model applied? Typically the therapist and client would explore the client’s thoughts and beliefs attached to the mood, physical experiences, behaviors (hence the B in CBT), and historical experiences or events in our lives. So what are the nuts and bolts of this concept? Cognitive therapy would suggest that our perception of a particular experience or event has a profound affect on our emotional, physiological and behavioral response to that event. An example of this might be, you are waiting in the Doctor’s office. Your appointment was at 10 a.m. but it is now 11 a.m. Now you have a choice. If you believe that the Doctor is really busy this day and working hard to see patients you might grab a magazine read a few articles and wait until your name is called. However if you think the Doctor’s office overbooked and that this has put you out, you may complain, get agitated, angered, and fidgety and feel you mood changing. Cognitive therapy helps clients challenge their way of thinking and subsequently changing their reaction to the thought or event thus improving mood.
Have a realistic attitude and remember that there are no perfect children and no perfect parents, everyone makes mistakes. Expecting to have the perfect family can get in the way of enjoying the one you have been blessed with. Accept your children for who they are and remember that children that are loved, encouraged and allowed to grow up at their own pace will develop good self-esteem and confidence.
Sometimes in parenting we can do all the “right” things and still get poor results, we need to step back and realize that we tried our best and it is alright. To lower stress that can build in parenthood you should make time for yourself regularly to enjoy your own activities. Don’t feel bad asking for help, talking about your worries is the best stress reducer. Set aside time to spend with the children, time for you and your spouse and time for yourself alone.
Laugh together, be appreciative of each other and give compliments often. Parents and children need to spend one on one time together, you could read a bedtime story, play a game or take a walk together. Talk over family problems in a warm, relaxed atmosphere. Focus on solutions instead of blame. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Enjoy your children, they don’t stay little for long.
The four major emotional stages of separation and divorce are: 1. Separation Shock 2. The Roller Coaster 3. Identity Work 4. The Re-centred self. These stages are similar to the stages of grief experienced by widows and widowers. Mourning the loss of a marriage is a lot like mourning a death. Following a divorce there will be times when you fees very much alone. Remember that many people have felt the same way and survived.
The effects of divorce take four points of view 1. some only focus their attention on their ex’s faults 2. some blame themselves entirely, even if they aren’t the leaver 3. some try to put the whole thing out of their mind 4. the more healthy reaction is to try to figure out what went wrong so you can part with as little conflict as possible.
Just like any grief the healing process takes time but it is possible to come out at the end whole and happy.
It is estimated that for every problem drinker there are 3 or 4 other people affected directly and many more indirectly. Those problems affect the family, relationships, routines and damage the quality of individual life experiences and opportunities.
Alcoholism is a progressive disease, it starts with the mental compulsion that is stopped by having a drink and soon one is not enough, then maybe four is not enough to stop the compulsion and it continues until the individual can only stop the compulsion by passing out.
The progression of the disease is so subtle and has usually taken place over an extended period of time that even the alcoholic themselves have failed to notice when alcohol took over their lives.
For those that have realized that alcohol is a problem there is help but for those that haven’t realized sometimes intervention is the only way.
Can you answer yes to any of these questions?
Have you gambled more often or higher stakes to win back your lost money?
Does gambling cause you to have sleep difficulties?
Have you ever lost time from work or school to gamble?
Lying, borrowing or criminal activity to finance gambling?
Spending long or increasing amounts of time in gambling venues?
Gambling to escape the daily pressures of life?
Has gambling ever caused your home life to be unhappy?
Have you ever gambled until you lost your last dollar?
Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
Constantly thinking about or preparing for gambling?
Neglecting family, nutrition, or general well-being?
For most people, gambling is simply a form of recreation, something fun to do occasionally but for others it can be a devastating and life-threatening addiction.
A very serious effect of problem gambling is what is called “the loss of hope”. Compared to other addictive disorders, the rate of attempted suicide is highest among compulsive gamblers.