• drcarolinetaylor

Why CBT...part 2

Hello again. So here is part 2 of my views of CBT from sceptic to passionate convert. Last time I covered CBT's accolades, this time it is myths, it is just a start is balanced, because I like balance.

It must be said, that CBT comes from and information processing perspective. We process information differently depending on our past and current experiences. This is a pragmatic perspective. It doesn't always sit well, but it does promote learning from new experiences and learning from these experiences. It means it is transparent and collaborative.

What would you like to learn?

Myths about CBT

  • Emotions aren't important: it is true that emotions aren't the primary focus of CBT treatment. But emotions are fundamental to CBT. Emotions (and what we feel in out body) is of the highest importance to CBT. Emotions give us the road map, because it is emotions that signify distress and difficulty. We want to alleviate difficult emotional and physical experiences. That is a CBT therapist's bread and butter. It is true that we work on Cognitive processes (of which there are many...more another day) and behaviour, because emotions are not directly amenable to change, but behaviour and thoughts are (maybe). CBT presupposes that emotions can shift through cognitive and behavioural change. It is all in the interaction. It is all in the process, and the acknowledgement that the heart takes time to catch up with the brain, and what it has learned.

  • The relationship isn't important. Not true. It is necessary but not sufficient. It has to be good enough, but is not good enough on it's own, the therapeutic relationship is centrally important. It just can't be all there is. That's it. If you want a relationship and not therapy, counselling may be your best bet. Done.

  • CBT is about positive thinking. Just NO. CBT is about realistic thinking, weighing up risks, and acknowledging that not everything in life is fair, is ok, or perfect. It is about accepting where we are now, and working to make things more ok, than they are right now, within the limits of our current resources / societal constraints / the losses that we have that are real. Positive thinking reminds me of reassurance, reassurance from self or others is something we often seek to make us feel better (for a bit), and does nothing to orientate us to what we need to do, within our current capabilities and circumstances. I do however, quite like being grateful. Being grateful for the good stuff, does not take away the difficulties. It just puts it in balance. I like balance.

Do you have any questions about CBT, anything that puts you off CBT? It may be a myth...leave a comment and I will respond, with my viewpoint.



Dr. Caroline Taylor, Psychological Therapy and Practice

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