With aspects of cognitive behavioural therapy, you will be taught strategies to help you cope with stressful/painful situations. There will be an emphasis on learning to gain insight from linking thoughts (cognitions), emotions (feelings) and behaviours (what we do). Change occurs when we learn to challenge and change some of the beliefs or assumptions that appear to be holding us back and limiting our growth. Challenging our thoughts will be supported by behavioural changes that allow us to accumulate evidence to support our new more productive, supportive and objective assumptions and beliefs.
One of the challenges with CBT is learning to interpret our own emotions and physical reactions to events and internal thoughts. This is often quite unconscious to us and requires patience and practice to develop. Many CBT psychologist call these hard to capture thoughts/cognitions, automatic negative thoughts (NATs) or sometimes, preconscious thoughts. Gaining an understanding of these NATs can give us opportunities to amend them when related to clearly faulty rationale.
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