Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Although mindfulness techniques are an excellent way of helping clients observe and accept their thought patterns, I like to also provide a framework for clients in exploring the relationship between their thoughts and their feelings. This is one of the main concepts of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, or CBT. This form of talk therapy was founded in the 1960’s by psychiatrist Aaron Beck, as an alternative to psychoanalysis. He coined the now-popular concept of “automatic thoughts”, where, for example, a depressed client would experience streams of negative thoughts that seem to arise spontaneously. These could be about themselves, the world and the future.
In my work with clients using CBT, we explore and identify their common negative thought patterns, and look at how valid or useful these thoughts are. We examine “cognitive distortions”, such as personalizing events or making assumptions like “fortune telling” future events without any basis or evidence. In identifying these thinking errors, we can release their power over us, and our moods change as a result.