The basic thing aboutcognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is to recognize and change dysfunctional ways ofthinking that are responsible for depressive emotions and this phenomenon is called cognitive restructuring. It is equallyimportant for the sufferer to be active and to do those things that he likes,and this is called behavioral activation. CBT is very efficienttherapy in dealing with a variety of psychological problems. Studies have shown that this type of therapy canhelp in resolving depression. This therapy uses different methods to help thepatient. One of those methods is challenging negative thoughts.
A person has automaticnegative thoughts that are disturbing him or her in everyday life. These thoughts mustbe recognized and eliminated or replaced with other positive thoughts. Negativeautomatic thoughts can be very different; for example, if a person has to talk infront of an audience, he or she could think that he or she is going to make a mistake or saysomething stupid. These kinds of thoughts can elevate the level of anxiety andonly make things worse. The person needs to remember what thoughts aredisturbing her and in what kind of situations. That can help the sufferer todiscover something new about him or herself. When this part of the therapy is completed,then the other method is used and it is called challenging core beliefs.
These beliefs arethose that a person created during the childhood and accepted them as facts. Theycan be very banal and untrue, but despite that the sufferer still sticks to them.For example, a person who had a bad breakup can use it to confirm existing core belief “nobody can love me” that she constructed when she was a child because herparents were criticizing her all the time. This is a big step and these beliefsshould be replaced with more supportive beliefs that have a positive connotation.
Depressive people usuallyfind any activity to be very hard and that is because of the lack ofmotivation. They also tend to be alone and isolated from others. CBT offers amethod that can change this and help them to be more active. Of course, thisshould be done step by step, starting from easier tasks. Being more active willhelp them to sleep better.
This method is used tocheck whether a person has really changed her beliefs or not. Patients sometimessay that, they have changed the way of thinking just to please the therapist. That iswhy cognitive behavioral therapists use behavioral experiments.