What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?
How Can CBT Help with Anxiety, Stress, Depression, and Negative Self-Talk?
How Can CBT Help Improve Confidence?
Above is a great visual example from The Brain Coach.
Our thoughts really can impact the way we feel. If you are telling yourself
“you are not good enough,
or not as ‘smart/pretty/interesting’ as ‘so-and-so’
or ‘you should be doing more’
You probably are not going to feel your best, or perform your best in your sport, work, relationships, or overall life.
“Changing our unhelpful thoughts to realistic or helpful ones is a key to feeling better. “Realistic thinking” means looking at yourself, others, and the world in a balanced and fair way, without being overly negative or positive. For example:”
|Unhelpful and unrealistic thought||More realistic and balanced thought|
|I always screw things up, I’m such a loser. What’s wrong with me?||Everyone makes mistakes, including me – I’m only human. All I can do now is try my best to fix the situation and learn from this experience.|
|I can’t do it. I feel way too anxious. Why can’t I control my anxiety?||It’s OK and normal to feel anxious. It’s not dangerous, and it doesn’t have to stop me. I can feel anxious and STILL go to the party.|
CBT focuses on how people think (cognitive), what people feel (emotionally and physically in their bodies), and how people act (behaviours). The brain is incredible! It is tempting to think, “I’ll always be like this,” “What’s the point, I can’t change” However, research tells us that is NOT true! We call this neuroplasticity. You can actually change your thought patterns, or how you think or talk to yourself. It takes about 6-8 weeks (on average) to change your “automatic negative thoughts” or negative self-talk patterns to a more balanced, realistic way to talk to yourself or think. (See the visual example below from Sit With It).
But I describe it in this way that mental health is like dental health: if you never brushed your teeth and just started for one session, for an hour, you would not see a drastic improvement in your dental health with just one time. You would just have really sore gums! But, if you started to brush your teeth for two minutes a day, twice a day, over 1-2 months you will look back and say “wow I have really come a long way, I have healthy habits instilled, and an overall healthy mouth! My hard work has paid off!” Time, consistency, and practice is key. The same is true for mental health, or changing negative thought patterns or self-talk that often fuel anxiety, stress, and depression. A little bit of practice each day on these mental skills learned in counselling will make a huge difference in your life, work, school, relationships, and overall wellbeing with time, consistency, and practice.
When we work together, we work through personalized resources and exercises for you to change your thought patterns, to change how you feel, and even act.
We work together to Understand your Stuff to see where these “issues” , perspectives, and ways of thinking come from. When we can understand them, we can overcome them.
One (free!) resource I highly recommend is put out by Anxiety Canada. The website version is called My Anxiety Plan. It has specific sections for adults, youth, and children. Their (also free!) app is called MindShft CBT that I also highly recommend to clients. These are great supplemental resources to utilize in between sessions to really gain traction and create new thought patterns to overcome anxiety.
Another great CBT resource for Anxiety, Stress, and Depression is an app called Sanvello.
I like how interactive our sessions are with exercises, materials to look at for a visual, and homework to complete and debrief together. The flexible hours allow me to take some power back over my schedule so that I am not as spread thin, but more fulfilled!
I am able to engage and connect in a very authentic way in our Online sessions. I actually feel like I can be more open and vulnerable, leading to more self-awareness and growth.
Highly recommend Barb! Very easy to speak with and effective at helping you understand how you can take action to to bring about positive life changes and to move past areas in life where you may feel a little ‘stuck’ “
At first I was skeptical of Online Counselling. However, I love the flexibility for my family and schedule. I’ve created a spot in my home, with my tea, and look forward to this time that I may not otherwise be able to fit in. It has made such a difference in my life and for my family’s life!
The work I have done with Barb has changed my life. With her help I learned that I was not only worthy but, capable of helping myself. Walking with her has been one of the most meaningful experiences I have ever had.” – Client M.