Use Of Cognitive Therapy In The Treatment Of Depression

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There are many theories when it comes to the treatment of depression.  Depression can be treated with medication, psychotherapy, or even with electroconvulsive therapy.  Within psychotherapy, there are many schools of thought.  One in particular, cognitive psychology, holds the changing of thoughts and underlying beliefs as its main goal.

Thoughts Cause Feelings

Cognitive psychology rests on the general notion that thoughts create a person’s view of the world.  An object is simply an object and an event is simply an event until a person interprets the information.  It is this subjective interpretation that gives an event meaning for that person.

This way of thinking explains how two people can look at the same event and have two different interpretations as well as two different emotional reactions.  If there were an objective truth and everyone could see it in any situation then these two individuals would have the same interpretation and the same emotional reaction, but this is not the case.  Perception is coloured by individual experience.

Cognitive Distortions

Once you embrace the belief that every feeling is preceded by a corresponding thought, you will be able to see how thoughts contribute to depression.  If you can change the thought that precedes a feeling of sadness, hopelessness, or worthlessness then you can treat the depression itself.

Perception is not truth.  It is interpretation, and interpretation can be inaccurate.  This is the essence of cognitive therapy.

Once a patient learns to identify his or her own erroneous thought patterns then he or she can begin to change them.  Aside from being an effective tool in managing and even overcoming depression, this ability to put mental health back in the hands of the patient to some degree is empowering for the patient.

Commitment To The Process

The process of identifying and reversing these self-defeating thought patterns takes time.  Identifying faulty logic in one’s thinking one time does not mean that the same error will never happen again.

Commitment to the treatment and practicing exercises will allow the patient to identify cognitive distortions and begin to create new thoughts in response to the same situations.  These new thoughts will lead to new feelings and, in time, hopefully end the depression.

Cognitive psychology states that thoughts cause feelings.  With practice, anyone can learn to monitor and change their thoughts as well as the feelings that result from those thoughts.  When it comes to depression, this process can have profound implications.  When you choose how you think, then you choose how you feel.

Learn how I beat Depression

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