There will always be a time that you probably won’t understand the flow of your marriage. “Humans are complex and all of us experience emotions like anger and sadness, so it’s very normal that at some point in the relationship, you will disagree with your partner,” says Maryann W. Mathai, LPCC, LMHC, LPC, NCC. The pressuring stress will eventually give you tons of mental illness that you sometimes won’t even notice. In some instances, you become more focus on deliberately knowing your health condition rather than figuring out ways to stay positive all the time. You consume yourself with worries, fears, loneliness, and agitation. So how can you help yourself in that situation? Well, cognitive behavioral therapy is a great option.
What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT is a type of psychotherapy that takes a practical and hands-on approach to problem-solving. “Cognitive behavioral therapy, often shortened to CBT, focuses on recognizing negative thought patterns and changing thoughts and behaviors and feelings through concrete skills.” explains Hannah Goodman, LMHC. It treats problems and mental condition by altering dysfunctional emotions and behavior. Though the process takes a short-term approach, it is the only type of therapy that you can perhaps monitor the level of possible improvements. CBT is a direct method of knowing what you think about your problems and encourages you to provide specific solutions on how to address those particular issues. It does not focus on the information you gather from your traumatic life experiences but instead directly assisting your thoughts towards that specific event.
How CBT Works
The primary procedure that CBT uses a lot is the process of “thought tracking.” It is where you tend to list all the automatic thoughts you have and evaluate an event as to where it leads your mental and emotional state. Like for example, your spouse or significant other tends to abuse you, and that traumatic experience is something that drives you to a certain level of depression. CBT will not focus on that specific event but rather lean towards how you use your thoughts in that situation. You may think that you’re unworthy, you deserve the abuse, you’re hopeless or whatever reasons it might be that feeds into your mind that validates the domestic violence.
For many of us, we tend to develop unnoticed thoughts whenever we experience a toxic and devastating type of marital relationship because there are underlying assumptions that support our automatic views. For example, when we feel that we are not worthy of anything, it means something more than that. CBT tries to go deeper into that assumption as to why we devalue ourselves. In further progression, the therapy makes us think about the specific things we thought about ourselves and why we tend to set those ideas into our minds.
CBT becomes so dominant in addressing our mental illness because it catches those thoughts that we are not aware of having. It gives us the purpose of knowing the meaning of our ideas about ourselves and addresses it down until we can get to that core belief, which could be anything from extreme emotional neglect.
“CBT is a relatively brief, skills-focused treatment that has been shown to be effective for a wide variety of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, anger, social skills deficits, and relational problems.” –Shelby Harris, PsyD, CBSM
Once we can recognize all those automatic thoughts we have and figure out what causes them, we can get to that point of addressing the issue whatever it may be. From there, CBT can assist us in learning ways on how we can tell ourselves to stop thinking about those unwanted thoughts.