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  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and the Impact on Positive Thinking

    Being that it’s the first week of the year, we at Supportive Engagement would like to model taking initiative to be proactive and intentional with our thoughts, feelings and actions in 2024. Many of us start the new year by setting intentions, goals, and resolutions for ourselves. We at Supportive Engagement would like to start the year off strong by discussing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and the power it has to impact positive thinking in our everyday lives. CBT is a form of therapy consisting of evidenced-based practices and interventions that hone in on the idea that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors influence one another. While CBT tends to focus on how our negative thoughts have a negative influence on our feelings and behaviors, I’d like to highlight the fact that being intentional about having either neutral or positive thoughts about a situation you are in can have just as much of an influence on your feelings and behaviors in reaction to that situation. 

    Most clients I personally work with in therapy, using a CBT approach, benefit from reflecting on the idea that they only have control over how they choose to think and react to a situation they are in or a problem they are dealing with. CBT concepts help individuals interested in this approach to counseling understand that their power lies in intentionally thinking about and responding to any situation or problem rather than automatically or impulsively reacting to it. The CBT Triangle, for instance, states that the influence our thoughts, feelings, and actions have on each other often leads to us getting caught in a “negative feedback loop.” A common example is the following thinking pattern: I think to myself “no one likes me”, I feel sad from that thinking pattern, and in reaction, I isolate myself or choose not to engage in conversation with anyone around me. Gaining self-awareness about what inner thoughts and behaviors lead to a “negative feedback loop” in your life can shed light on where you can take control and how you can intentionally think more neutral and/or positive thoughts to remove yourself from such a harmful or unhelpful cycle. Many of these CBT concepts discussed and experimented with throughout treatment sound easier said than done. Nonetheless, I vouch for those who have learned, implemented, and continue to demonstrate positive thinking as a result of CBT and its life-changing concepts. If you’re interested in thinking more positively or having more of a positive outlook on your life in this new year, this information may make a world of difference in your life, both on a big and small scale, moving forward into 2024. 

    Written By:

    Karla Moyse, LMHC, CCATP, TF-CBT Certified Therapist