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This is what a CBT therapy session really looks like

young man in individual therapy

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Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a practice designed to equip individuals with the tools and strategies necessary to manage stress. Typically, the emphasis is on “corrective actions,” which aim to redefine a person’s negative thoughts and then avoid self-. Defeat Pattern.

The certified psychologist Dr. Judy Ho recently hosted a mock CBT session with Kyle, a “patient” who expressed the core belief that he was not being gracious. During the role play exercise, Judy demonstrated some of the different techniques she uses in her sessions.

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You start with an exercise technique called a ladder that helps the patient organize their negative thoughts and get to the root cause. If the automatic thought is, “I will not find someone to love me,” Judy explains that it is worth investigating and following this logical thought process.

“What would it mean if you were alone? “, ask her.” What would it mean to you if that happened? If no one wanted to be with you, if that were an actual fact, what would that mean? If something was wrong with you, what would it mean? “Kyle eventually leads that thought process to feeling worthless and wasting time.

“Core beliefs are not necessarily what you actually believe about yourself,” says Judy. “Core beliefs are your greatest fear.”

She goes on to explain that when someone has a core belief, it is often accompanied by a set of internal rules and assumptions about how the world works and how he should act in it, which then affects everything, how he communicates his needs and wants to others , to the types of relationships they have.

Once they have identified the core belief and associated assumptions, Judy develops an individual behavioral experiment to collect evidence as to whether these core beliefs actually apply to any situation. “Core beliefs feel ubiquitous, and we want to make them more conditional,” she says.

For example, if an individual’s beliefs and assumptions cause them to always prioritize the needs of others, they may be looking for a relatively low-stakes scenario in which to test this. In this case, Judy instructs Kyle to go to a friend with a problem of his own for advice, and then to retire. without do it beyond friend’s needs.

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“The more you can design these behavioral experiments to challenge the specific assumptions and see that those assumptions are incorrect, the more those beliefs become shaken,” she says.

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