Change Your Life with CBT
AUTHOR: Corinne Sweet
An article written by author Corinne Sweet
You would love to go on a sizzling holiday in the Med, but you hate flying; or you’re desperate to get a promotion, but are terrified of presenting a PowerPoint or maybe you simply can’t face getting up in the morning, as the Monday blues stay all week? If any of these are true of you, CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) could well be the answer. Now there’s a new self-help book, Change Your Life with CBT by Corinne Sweet, which can help with all of these problems.
CBT has been a tried-and-tested treatment for phobias, anxiety, depression and trauma since the early 1970’s. As an effective, accessible and relatively cheap therapy it is gaining popularity today. Many GPs now ‘prescribe’ CBT to patients (including self-help books) as a way of beating the blues, losing weight, conquering social anxiety and/or obsessive thinking (OCD – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).
CBT teaches you to notice the regular thoughts that pop up in your head, unbidden, and which trip you up daily. These are ‘Negative Automatic Thoughts’ or NATS. You are encouraged to keep a daily record of these thoughts, so you can notice a pattern. Once you establish the negative things you think repetitively, you can begin to ‘experiment’ with combating them through changing your behaviour.
For instance, if you are terrified of going outside (agoraphobia), you may ‘experiment’ by simply opening the front door and looking out and then at the next stage walking down to the gate and back. At each stage you monitor your fear levels and write down a percentage of how bad you feel (e.g. 90% terrified of going outside – before the experiment). After the test you then note down how you feel and usually the fear level will have gone down.
This is because fear, anxiety and even depression can be conquered by retraining our way of thinking about ourselves and our experiences. If you understand you can go outside and drive the car and get from A to B safely, it will quell your fear that you will crash the car every time you try.
CBT is particularly good for building confidence and self-esteem and Change Your Life with CBT is written with the general reader in mind. Someone who has little time for visiting a therapist (or may even feel averse) and yet knows there are things in life (negative thoughts about themselves) which are holding them back.
Change Your Life with CBT is written in a clear, concise, encouraging style with a step-by-step guide for building up a CBT Toolkit to help tackle your problems. Corinne Sweet is a well-established psychologist and author (see www.corinnesweet.com) who has thirty years of experience of working with people on their emotional problems. Corinne explains: “I find CBT an excellent method and resource for dealing with repetitive psychological problems. It is relatively easy to learn and apply to your life, so if you stick with it, it can bring you great results in a fairly short time”.