Thank you CBT

What is CBT? It stands for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and is used by many practitioners treating many mental health conditions. I’ve done the three week course twice. I had to attend a second time because I had no recollection of the first course. Whether this was from ECT (electric shock treatment) or being incredibly unwell is an ongoing debate I have with my psychiatrist.

Because Google is my friend here ☝️is a practical explanation on CBT. I have to confess I’m not a fan myself but with much research and evidence out there it does work for many people. One day I’ll blog about what worked for me but not today.

Something I learned in this course was how to identify negative thinking. Catastrophising, all or nothing thinking, assuming the worst and my go to black and white thinking. Remember this is just my interpretation and I’m not qualified to give advice. My memory of the second course is at best ordinary and I foolishly threw away all the course notes because I really did loathe CBT.

I am beginning to believe that much of our negative thinking is necessary. Now again let me say negative thinking that controls your life is not helpful. I’m talking more about balanced negative thinking mixed with critical thinking and aligned with problem solving.

Assuming the worst is a great example. This week in Indonesia there was a devastating earthquake followed by a catastrophic tsunami and then I hear this morning there’s been volcanic activity in the same area. What’s disturbing is that Indonesia’s tsunami detection buoys have not worked for years. Now assuming the worst and of course learning from past events is the reason the buoys were there. Neglecting them should be investigated and prosecuted. Assuming the worst is great to plan and prevent. Now don’t go all end of days and start hoarding water and tinned food but assuming the worst can be good.

We have candles, torches, spare batteries and the like for the event of a blackout. Most homes have a first aid box because we are assuming the worst. How you define worst is very subjective of course and different for everybody.

Through years of therapy I’ve been criticized for my black and white thinking. I agree it can be detrimental. My idea of justice does not match others. This can be very harmful when you are mentally ill. It can make you feel isolated and paranoid. I still have to seek external perspective at times from my trusted loved ones.

I do though now think my black and white thinking has armed me to take on matters that are important to me. It’s given me passion and drive. It gives me the courage to continually step outside of my comfort zone sometimes on a daily basis. I’ve gone from lacking self confidence to feeling heard. That what matters to me, actually does matter to many. That is so very validating. It helps me battle my self doubt and argue with my psychiatrist.

I do have an inability to not accept that the way things are is the way things should be. I think this works in my favour when I’m mentally well. Finding the balance is the key.

I recently spoke about What’s Your Superpower? And a very important observation I made is that it doesn’t matter if it it’s not important for some it matter that it is important for most.

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