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Old 06-15-2012, 03:37 AM   #1
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What can I expect from cognital behavioural therapy?

My doctor has referred me to a psychologist for cognitive behavioural therapy. As I understand it, she will be examining the way I think and helping me to 'correct' the unhealthy/negative thoughts I have which lead to the depression. I am partly hopeful that this may provide me with some much needed calm and peace of mind. The other part of me is sceptical and would much prefer a prescription so I can get on and try to live a normal life.

I have been depressed fairly seriously for the last three years but I was emotionally volatile/down and anxious from the age of about eight and it became progressively worse. I put it down to having grown up in a stressful situation - my step-father was very jealous and competitive and from when I was about twelve, their marriage seemed to fall apart and become incredibly stressful and painful to live with. They used my younger half siblings and I to attack one another in various ways. To cut a long story short, they never divorced and by the time I left home at eighteen I was very damaged and hurt by it all.

My real question, I suppose, is what will the psychologist be able to do for me? Have you tried this therapy with any success?

 
Old 06-15-2012, 02:02 PM   #2
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Re: What can I expect from cognital behavioural therapy?

Hello srb91.

Yes, I've had success with this type of therapy.

It depends on the psychologist I suppose but in my experience the psychologist will help you become mindful of what your harmful thoughts are and how to go about changing such thoughts into healthier ones. I think another way of looking at it is therapy can help you train your mind to become more resilient against the vicious cycle of unhappy and miserable thoughts. Medication can help you feel better, but it won't change negative/unhealthy thought patterns. I think therapy requires a lot of effort and a willingness to change, but I think it pays off in the long-term.

Last edited by flamesabers; 06-15-2012 at 02:02 PM.

 
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:15 PM   #3
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Re: What can I expect from cognital behavioural therapy?

Hi there! I tried cognitive therapy (CBT) for an extended period (long ago) and within the last year, had a ten session refresher course, of sorts. There are a lot of plusses to it. Although any therapist/clinic can put their own spin on it, it is intended to get faster results than standard psychotherapy, because it really does hone in on identifying your thinking patterns and changing the ones that don't serve you well. It is almost the opposite of therapies wherein one vents or cries over past traumas, so it can seem harsh to either very emotional people, or those who need a shoulder to cry on. It can work equally well for patients who take ADs or don't need Rxs. I like one of the terms I learned at CBT called "emotional blubberism"; the theory being that excessive indulgence in feeling sorry for ourselves is counter-productive. Hope you get something positive from your CBT experience -- it's certainly worth a try!

Last edited by TinoRock; 06-25-2012 at 08:17 PM. Reason: typos

 
Old 07-04-2012, 04:58 AM   #4
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Re: What can I expect from cognital behavioural therapy?

@flamesabers - Congratulations on your success with CBT! Can I ask how it helped and how you realised that you were improving? I've been undergoing CBT for about 2.5 months and am honestly seeing no improvement. I've been on antidepressants since January and I beleive the only reason allowing me to get through each day is the medication; I don't see CBT as having any positive efffect on my life at all. Suffering from depression, anxiety and anorexia nervosa, I wonder if I just won't ever get better...

 
Old 07-04-2012, 09:13 AM   #5
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Re: What can I expect from cognital behavioural therapy?

Hello beachlove12.

CBT helped me by teaching me what I was doing that was feeding my depression. Engaging in negative ruminations for example resulted in me feeling guilty about myself and having horrible emotional swings where I felt totally hopeless about my life. With CBT I learned that despite the emotional intensity of these thoughts, they're not necessarily true. I also learned that I was setting unrealistic standards for myself. I believed if I really wanted to, I could pull myself together and beat this depression on my own. It was helpful to realize that maybe the reason why I couldn't do this was because I was expecting too much in too little time, rather than being inept or weak-willed.

I realized I was improving when I noticed I had more self-awareness about my negative ruminations and the impossible standards I set for myself. Rather than getting stuck in such thoughts, I could acknowledge that even though I may be feeling horrible today, that doesn't mean I'll always feel like this or that I'm a failure in life. Another sign was becoming more resilient to the setbacks I encountered.

I think it took longer than 2.5 months for me to see an improvement so maybe you have to give it more time. Or maybe you could benefit from switching to a new therapist. I think what has helped me is having a therapist who understands and relates to how I think and feel.

 
Old 07-05-2012, 12:10 AM   #6
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Re: What can I expect from cognital behavioural therapy?

Wow congratulations @flamesabers, you seem to have made great progress and improvement with your depression. That's excellent! I understand what you are saying and can I please ask you allowed your positive statements or thoughts to become more important than the negative ones you had in your mind at the time? I can not even fathom thinking that I'm not fat, ugly, disgusting, worthless, hopeless, unworthy of living etc, and I just do not know how to budge or shift these thoughts since they occupy my mind and thinking patterns 24 hours of the day.
Did you have a 'aha' or 'lightbulb' moment when you realised that it was possible to recover from depression, or was this a gradual event that you realised had only happened upon looking back at how your thinking changed?
Thanks

 
Old 07-05-2012, 07:52 AM   #7
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Re: What can I expect from cognital behavioural therapy?

For the most part it was a gradual process. The 'aha' moments were more of the realization that maybe things aren't as bad as I make them out to be. I don't think of it as positive thoughts becoming more important than negative thoughts, but rather seeing the negative thoughts as being distortions and not the truth. For me it's more about removing the burden of negative thoughts than fully embracing positive thoughts. (I've always been more of a realist than an optimist).

With changing your negative thoughts I think a good starting point is asking yourself 'what if you're wrong about the accuracy of these negative thoughts? What if it's the depression that's influencing you to believe such thoughts are true?'

My therapist has been helpful with moving this process along, in addition to reading books that address how to get unstuck from the trap of negative thoughts.

 
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