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Can CBT Help Me Change My Thoughts?

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a structured form of talk therapy or psychotherapy. This form of therapy is commonly used to treat mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. It is commonly a component of addiction treatment and recovery as well. CBT is a goal-oriented way to examine underlying patterns of thoughts and behaviors that may be contributing to mental health struggles.

Sage Recovery in Austin, Texas, offers CBT to help you identify your goals and maintain wellness. When using this technique, we initially help you draft a personalized Roadmap to Wellness. This detailed plan of recommendations will assist you in moving through mental health treatment and beginning a journey to a healthier life.

Principles of CBT

CBT is a very useful approach to mental health treatment because it is based on the relationships between cognition, emotion, and behavior. This method is specifically designed to help you improve your overall wellness by establishing positive foundational thoughts and attitudes. During CBT you will focus on three aspects of cognition: automatic thoughts, cognitive distortions, and underlying beliefs.

Automatic Thoughts

Automatic thoughts are your immediate, instinctual interpretation of your experiences. These thoughts provide the foundation for how you feel and how you react in any given situation.

Cognitive Distortions

Cognitive distortions are negatively biased filters that cause errors in logic when interpreting events. Thoughts that begin with “I should” or “I have to” are often directly related to cognitive distortions. When these negative filters are in place, it affects your judgment in ways that increase depression, anxiety, and stress.

Underlying Beliefs

Underlying beliefs are your core belief systems that shape how you experience the world around you. These beliefs directly affect your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. If your underlying beliefs are faulty or negative it can have a harmful effect on your mental health and your life.

For example, let’s say you just took a test you don’t feel confident about. If you have had bad experiences on tests before, that may have affected your confidence. Now you have likely adopted a cognitive distortion (see below for examples). Living with this kind of cognitive distortion might affect your underlying beliefs about your abilities. Then this core belief will start to guide your behavior.

  1. Automatic thought: “I should have studied harder for that test.”
  2. Cognitive distortion: “I haven’t done well on tests in the past; I probably won’t do well in the future.”
  3. Underlying belief: “I am not smart enough for school.”
  4. Future behavior is influenced by the underlying belief: The act of dropping out of school.

The goal of CBT is to stop negative cycles by breaking down the components of thoughts ad beliefs that make you feel anxious, depressed, or stressed. In doing this, you will be working toward making your problems more manageable. CBT helps you improve your thought patterns with a solution- and goal-oriented process. The method allows you to retrain your mental processes and develop more mental health resiliency.

What Is CBT Helpful For?

CBT is used to treat a wide range of issues. It’s often the preferred type of psychotherapy in treatment centers because it helps people identify and overcome any kind of negative thoughts or behaviors. This makes it ideal for treating a variety of issues because it is so adaptable. CBT is not only specific to treating mental health disorders; it can also be a helpful tool for managing any of life’s challenges.

CBT can be used to help you bolster your mental health if you feel like you are starting to experience any negative mental health symptoms. It can also be used to help you manage difficult situations or emotions that accompany stressful life situations. You may utilize CBT as a way to learn to communicate more effectively or solve conflicts.

Many mental health disorders can improve with the implementation of CBT. These include phobias, sleep or eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). CBT can be especially helpful as a component of a trauma-informed care plan.

How Is CBT Utilized at Sage Recovery?

At Sage Recovery, our expertly trained therapists are equipped to work with a wide range of mental health issues. We offer a wide variety of therapies and tools in our individualized treatment plans, including CBT. The basic principle behind CBT therapy is that there is a critical connection between what you think, how you feel, and how you behave. All of these factors have a decisive influence on your well-being.

When applying our holistic approach to mental health, we place you, not your diagnoses or symptoms, at the center of your treatment plan. We believe in helping you understand your emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs. CBT therapy helps you take a holistic approach to your mental health, which is our fundamental goal at Sage Recovery.

At Sage Recovery, we know that one size doesn’t fit all for treatment. We utilize a wide array of therapeutic modalities, including CBT, to ensure we discover together what approach truly resonates with you. Through a trauma-informed approach, Sage Recovery utilizes holistic treatment to address core mental health struggles that may be at the root of your substance abuse. Instead of looking solely at your addiction, we view healing from a total wellness approach. We view you as an individual and offer ways to work with your mind, body, and spirit. Call us at (512) 306-1394 for more information about CBT and other services we offer at Sage Recovery. Let’s work together to find the best path forward for you.