“You largely constructed your depression. It wasn’t given to you. Therefore, you can deconstruct it.”   

Albert Ellis

How we think about ourselves, the world and others

How our thinking affects our emotional state and how we react to that emotional state. Also how what we do, affects our feelings and thoughts. By gaining an understanding of the correlation between how we think, feel and act, gives us better control over them.

How CBT helps

By making links between what we do, think and feel

CBT can help us make changes in the way we think (Cognitive) and the way we act (Behaviour). Making changes in what we think, will affect what we do and feel, and changing what we do, affects the way we think and feel. Making these changes then can help us feel better.

While it is helpful to discuss the past and understand how our pasts have influenced our lives

How problems have arisen, CBT mostly focuses on looking for ways to improve your mental wellbeing now. CBT says that it’s not the event which causes our emotions, but how we interpret that event – what we think or what meaning we give that event or situation. For instance, if you call someone you know and they don’t answer, you may think “they’re not answering because they don’t like me” (cognitive). This may lead to feeling sad (emotional response). Resulting in you not calling anybody (Behaviour). Whereas the person might not have heard the phone.
Waking up in the morning and thinking: “This is going to be another horrific day”, “I’m just a waste of space”, or “What’s the point?” (cognitive), this may leave you feeling sad or anxious (emotional response), leading to pulling the covers over our heads (behaviour). Which will most likely increase our negative thoughts, which in turn will increase the feelings, and make us even less likely to get out of bed? This then can become a vicious cycle!

CBT can help us to break these vicious cycles of negative thinking, feelings and behaviours. When you see the cycle of negative thinking we can change them, and therefore it changes the way we feel.

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