The same patterns happen over and over again.
You have a really hard day at work. It feels like everything goes wrong. When you leave work, that feeling of “everything went wrong” stays with you. So, you get in your car and head home. On your way home, every car that could possibly pull in front of you does. Before you know it, you’re yelling at your steering wheel. In your mind, everyone is a terrible driver. Every other driver is selfish and only cares about where they’re going. No one cares about anyone else; everyone in this start is awful AND selfish! You’re using language so derogatory that your grandmother would disown you if she the words coming out of your mouth. This, however, is not a one time experience.
If this sounds like a situation you find yourself in more often than you’d like to admit, cognitive behavioral therapy could be helpful.
Sure, the situation described above isn’t necessarily a unique one. It’s fair to say that most people have gotten annoyed while driving through traffic and harshly criticized other’s driving habits. It’s also pretty common to make assumptions about what other people are doing, thinking, or expecting. But, what happens when this happens all the time? What happens when these situations weigh really heavily on us? What about when these situations affect us even when they’re not currently happening? This is when cognitive behavioral therapy can come in handy.
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is a short-term, problem-focused form of behavioral treatment. This kind of therapy helps people see the difference between beliefs, thoughts, and feelings. And, free them from unhelpful patterns of behavior. CBT is grounded in the belief that it is a person’s perception of events – rather than the events themselves – that determines how they will feel and act in response.
Every person has a different perception of experiences that happen to them. These perceptions can come from our previous experiences. So, for example, let’s say you’re used to buying ice cream every time we pass the Dairy Queen we used to frequent as a child, we stop to buy some ice cream. When we do this, we’re filled to the brim with happiness. This reminds me of the times my dad used to take me here after soccer practice! So, every time you pass it, you feel happy.
Of course, CBT extends beyond feeling excited about ice cream.
Aside from our experiences, our expectations and preferences can influence this, too. Our expectations of what we think should happen, what we want to happen, or what we don’t want to happen all play a big part in the situations we find ourselves in. Our preferences often look like what we wish would happen, sometimes regardless of the situation. What’s important, however, is that these factors contribute to a pattern. These factors play a big part in our beliefs, thoughts, and feelings in situations. Our beliefs, thoughts, and feelings are present in every situation we are in.
How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Virginia Can Help
With CBT, you’ll be able to adjust the thoughts that directly influence your emotions and behavior. This adjustment process is referred to as cognitive reconstructing, which happens through different CBT techniques. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help you to evaluate the connection between your beliefs, thoughts, and actions. Looking at this relationship as a triangle can help to see how these factors impact each other. As we can, all of these factors have equal impact on each other. This means that your beliefs and thoughts can have a direct impact on your actions. Of course, the implications of this can be extended to many situations. This can influence how we act around others, what decisions we make, and how we think of ourselves. If we view of those instances in the best light and “best-case scenario”, this wouldn’t be so bad! But, unfortunately, life doesn’t always give us this option. Sometimes, we jump to worst-case scenarios and expect the absolute worst out of people. And, at times, ourselves. This is exhausting. This is draining. And, this has a huge impact on our life.
Other experiences cognitive behavioral therapy can help with include:
- Panic attacks
- Obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD)
- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Substance dependency
- Persistent pain
- Disordered eating
- Sexual issues
- Anger management issues
What CBT Can Help With
Cognitive behavioral therapy is much more than sitting and talking about whatever comes to mind during a session. CBT sessions are structured to ensure that the therapist and the person in treatment are focused on the different goals of each session. Which, in turn ensures that each and every session is productive. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help with many different things. At Monday Courage, we know that CBT helps specifically with anxiety and depression. So, we refine our approaches to address these experiences.
CBT for Anxiety
The pesky thing about anxiety is that the thoughts don’t circle our minds just once. Anxious thoughts are like bad house guests. They come when they’re not invited and stay far longer than you want them to. Anxious thoughts can leave us feeling like we’re spinning our wheels in the snow and not making any progress. CBT can help to track the process of our anxious thoughts. This way, we can pinpoint the thought patterns and beliefs that could be exacerbating the feelings of anxiety. Which, in return, often leads us to make choices that can make our anxiety feel like it’s larger than we are. CBT intervenes to stop the cycle of unhelpful thinking patterns that keep us from living a life uncontrolled by anxiety.
CBT for Depression
Depression is heavy. Depression is the hole that feels impossible to climb out of. When you’re navigating depression, it feels like your mood, thoughts, and choices are out of your control. You’re on the hamster wheel of feeling worthless, hopeless, and lost. CBT can help to stop that hamster wheel. CBT helps you to identify the points when depressive thoughts begin to take over. This, of course, looks different for each person. Regardless of how this looks for you, CBT allows you to retrace your steps and see where depression begins to take over. CBT gives you the skills to change the internal monologue that is impeding on your life.
Online CBT in Virginia
Traditionally, getting to therapy required blocking off time to account for driving and traffic. And people were often limited in their options fro therapists by who’s counseling office was convenient to drive to. Now, our therapists are able to offer online CBT in Virginia. So, you’re able to access high quality Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with a therapist no matter where you live in the state of Virginia.
Our therapists use a secure video platform to provide online therapy in a safe, supportive way. So, you can participate in therapy and work on your mental health from the safety of your own home or anywhere that is convenient! We often see individuals who are in Arlington, Fredericksburg, Lychburg, Virginia Beach, Norfolk and throughout the state for online CBT based therapy sessions.
Beginning Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Virginia
CBT in Virginia can give you the opportunity to take control over your life. Regardless of where you are in the state, we’re able to serve you through online therapy in Virginia. When you’re ready to begin cognitive behavioral therapy in Virginia, follow these steps:
- Reach out to our client care coordinator to schedule your first therapy appointment.
- Get to know our CBT therapists.
- Feel in control of your anxious thoughts.
Other Counseling Services Provided in Virginia
Cognitive behavioral therapy is one specific type of therapy our mental health clinicians can offer at Monday Courage. It’s important to know that we offer online therapy in Virigina for a wide range of people and concerns. Through online therapy, our therapists can off you support and help for ADD/ADHD, trauma therapy, PTSD, grief counseling, anxiety treatment, divorce recovery, marriage counseling/couples therapy, premarital counseling, affair recovery and depression counseling. In addition to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, our therapists often incorporate mindfulness and DBT during our sessions. We frequently work with both women and men.