Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is a therapy based on the idea that thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are interconnected. For example, if I wake up and think “I don’t want to get up this morning.”, then I’m less likely to get up. If I’m less likely to get up, then I’m more likely to feel more down. If I’m feeling more down, I’m more likely to start thinking of negative things, and then more likely to stay in bed feeling lower. And on the cycle goes. CBT says that there are two points where change can happen- thoughts and behavior. CBT says that if I change those two things then I can change my mood. One of the key skills within CBT is re-framing challenging thoughts. Sometimes this is achieved by doing a thought record which is essentially where evidence is given for and against a thought and a more balanced perspective on the thought is achieved and then the negative feeling’s intensity is evaluated for improvement. Therapists can assist you with this process. A therapist can also assist you with creating behavioral homework assignments to move you forward towards your therapy goals, such as working on getting you up and out of bed versus staying and dwelling and feeling more depressed.
Month: May 2016
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy or ACT (said as one word) is considered third wave Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), meaning that it is an evolution from CBT. ACT has a strong connection to the power of changing behavior. However, ACT differs from CBT greatly in that ACT says that you change the relationship you have with your thoughts versus trying to change them, so you don’t have to do anything with your thoughts. ACT focuses on mindfulness, acceptance of unpleasant emotions, and diffusion of challenging thoughts, which means you learn to separate yourself from your thoughts all in the name of moving you towards a meaningful life based on you taking committed action towards your values.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy or DBT was created by Marsha Linehan to fill a need that was left by CBT. DBT meets the needs of people with intense emotional states that decrease the quality of their lives. For this reason, DBT is well suited for Borderline Personality Disorder. The four key skill areas are as follows: Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotional Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness.