Is Cognitive behavior therapy good options for you challenges/issues??

Nov 29, 2022 | From Suicidal to Serene

I will be sharing my insights into cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). The lessons I learnt about the pros and cons of CBT are based on my experiences of receiving CBT sessions. You see I received around 55 CBT therapy sessions (2005—2006) and then I received 4 sessions from different psychotherapist in 2021. CBT is often considered gold standard of psychotherapy. CBT is the most effective therapy if you go by reviews and studies published years after years. I do believe CBT is a great therapy option depending on your challenges and needs. However, CBT didn’t help me much in my unique challenges and issues. You could learn from my experiences with regards to CBT and decide for yourself if it is right therapy option for you.

Let me first describe what CBT really is and how it works to help. CBT is a form of psychological treatment in a form of talk therapy. CBT explores the link between thoughts——emotions—–behaviors. What does it mean?? It simply means that thought we think determines out emotions and emotions we feel determines our action or lack of action.

Thought leads to emotion

Emotion leads to Action or (lack of action)

Action leads to RESULTS (Happiness, health etc.)

Two important factors to consider:

  1. Genetic and environmental programing:                                                                        We are all programmed both genetically and environmentally since the time we are conceived in mother’s womb till early childhood. Since we are all programmed differently, we all think differently and have different ideas about ourselves and the world around us. Some of us go through emotional trauma in early childhood and that change how we perceive almost anything and everything.
  2. Thinking under Stress:

We think much more negatively when we are under stress. For example, if we are under lot of stress at work, we are more likely to see situations differently and make choices we normally wouldn’t make. Furthermore, we all have different threshold for dealing with stress.  If we experience TRUMA in our childhood, then we are most likely to have lower threshold for stress.

How and what CBT can help with??

CBT aims to help you identify and explore the ways your emotions and thoughts can affect your action. Once you notice these patterns, you can begin learning how to change your behaviors by developing new coping strategies. CBT can help with range of mental health conditions such as depression, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD), substance abuse etc. But you don’t need to have mental illness to benefit from CBT and as such it can help with break-up, divorce, chronic pain or loss of someone.    

Why CBT didn’t help me??

I wasn’t able to think logically and clearly because I experienced COMPLEX physical and emotional TRAUMA in my childhood and even later in life. There are three main types of traumas: Acute, Chronic or complex. Acute trauma results from single accident. Chronic trauma is repeated and prolonged such as domestic violence. Complex trauma is exposure to varied and multiple traumatic events often an invasive, interpersonal nature.

                     Trauma impacted my life big time in a way that I developed many mental and physical issues such as Intense Anger, angry outburst and rage, fear, severe depression, cognitive distortions, stressed bladder (frequent urinations), constipation, chronic cough.

EMDR and Hypnotherapy did help me which I explain in my future blogs. If you want to read about the whole journey then read my book “From Suicidal to Serene”.         

Disclosure: However, this blog is for informational purposes only. You need to use your own discretion and get medical and psychological help if needed.

Meet the Author

Amir Siddiqui

Following a series of disappointments as a young man, Amir Siddiqui became depressed and suicidal. He spent the next eight years pursuing personal growth and completely turned his life around. Now he aims to help people overcome negative mindsets to live happy, healthy lives.

Amir was born in Pakistan and immigrated to the United States in 1994. He lives in Virginia, where he loves nature, particularly forest bathing, kayaking, and sailing. He also enjoys meditating and yoga.

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