What Is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?
Cognitive behavioural therapy is widely prescribed in the UK as a treatment for the kind of mild to moderate depression women might experience during the menopause.
Unlike some of the other 'talking therapies' like counselling and psychotherapy, it focuses on the here and now rather than delving into the past. You can get good results with CBT relatively quickly, within six weeks - six months, and it is viewed as a very effective treatment for mild to moderate depression.
What is cognitive behavioural therapy?
Cognitive behavioural therapy homes in on two things:
- How you think about different situations in your life - your cognitive response...
- How you act in response to those thoughts - your behavioural response.
A course of CBT can teach you practical strategies to help you think more positively about events that affect your life, and from there you can learn to behave differently and feel better as a result.
What Is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy? A Treatment For Depression
CBT can help with panic attacks, anxiety, anger, paranoia and depression.
When you feel depressed, your thought patterns can easily sink into a pattern of 'I am a useless/weak/inadequate/stupid person...', which can make the future look hopelessly bleak.
Working with a Cognitive Behavioural therapist, or using an online program, you can learn how to challenge these beliefs about yourself by testing the evidence and looking for alternative explanations. This can help you to escape from a spiral of negativity, help you to feel better about yourself and about your future prospects, and give you the tools that can help you sinking back into depression in future.
In the UK, this online resource Beating the Blues may be available to you free, via your family doctor. If not, you can pay for access.
If you'd rather work with a therapist, your doctor should be able to refer you to a suitable practitioner.
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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
"...if an apple falls on your head and you are depressed, you might think: 'That's typical, I can't even sit under a tree without something falling on me.'
"If you are in a positive frame of mind you might think: 'Thank goodness it wasn't a coconut!'. And if you're Isaac Newton, you'll be inspired to develop the theory of gravity and become world famous."
From Overcoming Depression using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques, by Paul Gilbert.
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