what actually happens in cbt? - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-10-2009, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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what actually happens in cbt?

I've read plenty about CBT, but nobody explains exactly what happens. It sounds too theoretical. I need it explained to me like I'm in kindergarten.

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-10-2009, 11:08 AM
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Heheh, alright here I'll try my best.

Basically, CBT is a type of therapy using a variety of techniques to change your thoughts and your behavior. It believes that your thoughts, emotions and behavior influence each other. So your thoughts influence your emotions and behavior; your behavior influence your thoughts and emotions; and your emotions influence your behavior and your thoughts.

The two techniques used for social phobia is cognitive therapy (cognitive restructuring) and exposure therapy (in vivo desensitization). However, the latter alone is enough for some people.

Exposure therapy spots your self-defeating behaviors which are actions that prevent you from obtaining your goals (avoidance, subtle avoidance, safety behaviors, passive behavior, etc.). In this case, you experiment by seeing what happens when you take a more effective behavior, like instead of avoiding to ask a girl on a date, you approach her.

Some people use "graded exposures" which means you create simpler exposures instead of facing the major one. For instance, instead of approaching the attractive girl of your dreams, you can approach a girl you don't find attractive at all and ask for the time. You then gradually move up in difficulty.

As for cognitive therapy, you identify irrational beliefs and faulty thinking which are rigid and dogmatic, then you dispute them to create a more realistic, flexible, and probabilistic way of thinking. There are a variety of cognitive exercises out there, such as The Daily Record of Dysfunctional Thoughts, REBT Self-Help Form, The Thought-Monitoring Form, etc. Choose which works best for you.

Hope this helps!
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-10-2009, 11:37 AM
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Therapist will:
Ask you what type of situations make you feel anxious.
Ask you about your thoughts, feelings, focus, physical symptoms of anxiety, and safety behaviours in those situations
Probably ask you how you think a "normal" person would have felt in that situation
Explain the CBT model to you: how your thoughts, feelings, focus, physical symptoms of anxiety, and safety behaviours are interconnected, make you see how your thoughts are irrational, give you tips and strategies to change your thoughts and decease your anxiety level
This will make you aware of your thoughts as they happen in situations.

Then you will:
Rank situations where you feel the least-most SA
Get "homework" and have to intentionally put yourself in these situations (starting with least anxiety provoking situations, obviously) and document your thoughts and go through them with the therapist next session etc.

Feel free to PM me if you have any more questions.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-10-2009, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mud View Post
I've read plenty about CBT, but nobody explains exactly what happens. It sounds too theoretical. I need it explained to me like I'm in kindergarten.
*therpaist will ask you what situations are difficult for you e.g sitting with the rest of the group and joining in with them on your dinner hour in work

*therapist will ask you what emotoins you will feel in those situations e.g you might feel rejected

*therpaist will ask you a lot of questions to get to the bottom of these emotions and this difficult sitaution. they will try to find ot exactly what it is about this situation that mkes it hard for you. e.g sitting with the group may be ard cos you are afraifd they will rejct you.
the reason this situation is hard for you is cos you hold certain belefis like '' if i try to get invloved in group activity everyone will reject me''
the therapist will try to uncver exactly what beleifs you hold

*once the therapist has uncovered your beleifs they will look into your poast to find out were these belefis come from. e.g you might hae memories of when you was 5 years old and your grup of peers in school all rejected you

*therapsist will then try to desentitize this beleif a little bit by putting your past ino perspective. e.g right now you migt 100% beleive that ''if i try to get involved ill get rejected'' but by puttin ght epast into perspective the therapist might decrease your beleif from 100% to 70%
they will find out why the kids rejected you when you was 5 and then theyll ake you relaise that just cos it happend back then doesnt mean its guaranetedd to happen now. this will decrease the beleif.

*the therapist will help you create a new more realistic beleif

*the therapist will ask you to change your behaviour step by step doing easy things first and leading up t hard things e.g join the people in work , then goout to a ar with them etc....
each situation you will look for new evidence that will decrease the old beleif and increase the new beleif

*eventually you wont beleive the old belief anymore . you will beleive the new beleif instead .
therefore these sitauations will not be difficult for you anymore and they wont produce emotions like rejected cos the old beleif simply will not be acivated by these situations anymore
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