Did you know that negative thoughts can lead to negative feelings which can then lead to negative actions? If this negative thinking is not interrupted it can lead to a person being caught in a vicious negative cycle where the negative thoughts, feelings and actions feed continued negativity and can lead to issues such as depression and anxiety.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a very effective treatment for stopping the negative cycle. CBT teaches the individual to replace the unrealistic and harmful negative thoughts with realistic thoughts. This will effectively impact negative feelings which in turn will reduce negative actions.
Here is an example of unrealistic thinking:
A child gets a ‘D’ on a test and has the thought “I got a ‘D’. I’m so stupid”. This negative thought can easily lead to feeling sad or hopeless which could lead to the child giving up and not trying in the class.
Here is an example of healthier realistic thinking:
“I got a ‘D’ on that test. I’ve done better on tests in this class before and I do well in other classes.
It doesn’t feel good to get a ‘D’. I think I will study harder for the next test and maybe even ask my parents for some help.
In the realistic example the child takes responsibility for his/her behaviors without calling him/herself names or overgeneralizing the negative grade to other classes or attributing it to an intellectual flaw. The realistic thoughts then lead to a more hopeful outlook and behavior that can positively impact future test scores.
CBT is not only effective to managing depression and anxiety, but has also been found to be effective in managing medical conditions such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
If you are interested in more information about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy please contact Heidi Woods at The Family Center.