“Therapy Made Personal”
To address how CBT is helpful, I will firstly explain a few things regarding behaviours. Our actions and reactions to internal and external stimuli are referred to as our behaviours. Human behaviour can be common, unusual, acceptable, or unacceptable. Humans evaluate the acceptability of behaviour using social norms and regulate behaviour by means of social control. Our behaviour results from the stimuli both in the environment and within ourselves. As we learn, we alter the way we perceive our environment, the way we interpret incoming stimuli, and therefore the way we interact, or behave.
Some behaviours are innate(inborn) and other are learned. Smiling for instance has been shown to be innate, an infant at about 4 weeks of age begins to smile even blind infants. Some behaviours are a result of a reward or punishment system.
Our behaviours are a product of our current and past models (parents, peers, teachers, etc), the roles we assume, our belief systems and our coping mechanisms.
Food, Exercise, Mood, and Behaviours
Emotions influence behaviours. Sometimes, our feelings stimulate our brains to process certain information very quickly, or process it in a certain way. If that information is processed while disregarding facts, common sense or other considerations, it could result in a quick or poorly analyzed final action. Negative emotions, such as anger, jealousy and depression, can affect our behaviour negatively.
Diet is important not only for physical health, but also for optimal mental development and functioning. More and more scientific research is pointing to the link between food and mood.
The link between exercise and mood is very strong. Research shows that exercise can also help alleviate long-term depression. Researchers have also explored exercise as a tool for treating anxiety.
Toronto Cognitive Behavioural Therapist
As a psychotherapist I help my clients use their powers of consciousness (willful attention) to learn new healthy behaviours and thinking patterns that promote resiliency, strength and contentment.
Regardless of an individual’s autobiographical history and past experience, one is capable of change by establishing new belief systems about themselves and their future. Neuroplastic learning can restore healthy functioning.
Cognitive behavioural therapy through behavioural self-assessment and implementation of various techniques alters an individual’s behaviours and reactions to stimuli. Through the awareness of dysfunctional emotions, maladaptive behaviors and cognitive processes one learns healthier responses and thought patterns.
It is your strengths, abilities, and resources that are most important in helping to bring about change. If you want to have mental well-being you must minimize your misery, have more positive emotions, greater meaning in your life, and positive relationships.