05.01.2018 Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a popular therapy for the treatment of depression. CBT focuses on the synergistic relationship between your thoughts, behaviours and emotions and looks to change aspects of these in order to promote better mental health. The theory behind CBT is that your thoughts and behaviours are pivotal in determining your emotional state or mood.
For example, you are invited to a party, you immediately think you won’t go because you don’t know what to say to people and no one will talk to you, as a result of these thoughts you make an excuse and don’t attend. Sitting at home you think about your decision, confirming in your mind that your thoughts are true and that not going was the right thing. You feel bad about yourself and think you have no friends. In this case the thoughts have guided the behaviour which in turn influences mood.
CBT would look to either:
– challenge the thoughts (where’s the evidence?) or
– modify the behaviour (go to the party anyway)
The end result would be that you attend the party, hopefully enjoy yourself and leave feeling happy that you went! By changing your thoughts or behaviour you experience an uplift in mood which leads to you feeling better about yourself and your friendships.
In depression many of our thoughts are simply not true, they have no factual basis but instead are merely fears that our mind puts forward as facts. The false belief of these ‘facts’ drives our behaviour and emotions. By remembering that your fears are not facts, you minimise the impact of your thoughts and worries.