How I view my SELF, my WORLD, and my FUTURE...
COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY
Two main facets to Cogitive Behavioral Therapy, is (1) the Cognitive Triangle: this represents the inconnection and continuous influence our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors have on one another. Often, our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors go unchecked as we may operate on auto-pilot.
Reacting to our emotions with little awareness can often become problematic to our daily functioning and ability to connect with others. The triangle helps us to identify areas we would like to change and to intervene at any juncture. If I can change my thinking, then I allow opportunity for change in my emotions and behaviors. In some cases, such as with children - where cognitive abilities are still developing - the behaviors would be the target for evaluation and modification.
A second facets is, (2) Understanding and Identifying Negative Automatic Thoughts or also know as Cognitive Distortions and Unhealthy Core Beleifs. CBT relies on the premise that how I view myself, my world, and my future, predicts how I think, feel, and behave. Thus, if my perceptions are distorted or dysfunctional, for example: "I am a failure", then my thoughts, emotions, and behaviors will be reflective - "Even if I get accepted to Brown University, I will fail anyway."
While working in community mental health, Christina, very often, came across patients who experienced some type of trauma in their lives. It became quite apparent that the vitality and effectiveness of a client's treatment depended on their ability to understand trauma and shame resilience.
What is Trauma?
SAMHSA reports; "traumatic experiences can be dehumanizing, shocking or terrifying, singular or multiple compounding events over time, and often include betrayal of a trusted person or institution and a loss of safety. Trauma can result from experiences of violence. Trauma includes physical, sexual and institutional abuse, neglect, intergenerational trauma, and disasters that induce powerlessness, fear, recurrent hopelessness, and a constant state of alert. Trauma impacts one's spirituality and relationships with self, others, communities and environment, often resulting in recurring feelings of shame, guilt, rage, isolation, and disconnection."
Trauma is defined by our own perceptions and thus it will look differently among all of us. Trauma-Informed Care helps one to recognize symptoms and to understand the physiological responses to trauma that we often disregard. In other words, Trauma-Informed Care is education about our body and brain and how each have been affected by physical or emotional trauma.
Knowledge is power!
Christina beleives that education and knowledge is a key component to undestanding our mind, body, and spirit and is the gatekeeper to honest change. Understanding the Cognitive Triangle, our emotional and behavioral responses is one important facet to our growth. Yet, also understanding our physiological responses and the conditioning of our brain's development over time is additionally essential to equipping yourself with tools to lead your life courageously, compassionately, and lovingly.
Automatic Negative Thoughts are rooted in Unproductive Core Beliefs, and can be very powerful forces in affecting our perceptions, expectations, emotions and behaviors. CBT is very helpful in aiding individuals to learn to recognize and change these distorted ways of thinking. CBT is also very helpful in teaching individuals concrete, effective strategies and skills for managing strong emotions, and practicing and implementing new patterns of behavior.
Principles to CBT:
1) A strong alliance between the therapist and client is essential for change to happen
2) Collaboration and active participation are emphasized
3) CBT is goal-oriented and problem focused
4) The hear and now is emphasized
5) Conceptualization of the client and his/her problem will continuously be evaulated
6) Education is key. CBT assists the client in becoming their own therapist
7) It is time-limited and short-term
8) It is structured
9) The client will learn to identify, evaluate and respond to their dysfunctional thoughts and beleifs
10) Many techniques are utilized to transpire change in thinking, mood, and behavior.
To learn more about CBT click the resources below:
The Beck Institute website
Christina's facebook page
Contact Christina King.
*See book recommendations for workbooks and literature on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to support your therapy.