In our world we are constantly making sense of our experiences. We draw meaning, infer truths, and make evaluations based about the information we collect through all of our senses – sight, sound, touch, taste, smell.
How we interpret and respond to the events in our lives shape, in many ways, the practical and emotional outcomes of those experiences and events.
Sometimes, particularly during difficult or stressful periods, our pattern of thoughts and behaviours may become such that they are contributing to, intensifying, or causing a range of negative, distressing and undesirable outcomes for us.
Examine Your Thinking!
These biased and often inaccurate patterns of thought and unhelpful behaviours are certainly not intentionally, and are almost always invisible to us. Nonetheless they can cause a very real and confounding decline into a negative emotional state, undermine coping abilities and isolate us from social supports.
In simple terms Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is an approach to psychotherapy which serves to identify and explore patterns of thinking and behaving which are contributing to a problematic emotional state, exploring these thoughts and behaviours for the presence of inaccuracy, troublesome bias or distortion, and reconstructing more helpful and more accurate ones.
It is not about wishful thinking, or a denial of reality – conversely is about trying to discern actual evidence and fact, from inappropriate ‘meanings’ or ‘inaccurate conclusions’, correcting the distortions or faulty thinking, supporting the individual to accept the reality as it actually is, and where possible engaging in some appropriate problem solving strategies.
CBT for Depression and Anxiety
A Cognitive Behavioural Therapeutic orientation encompasses a range of specific counselling and clinical techniques and approaches and has been found to be extremely useful in a range of contexts and emotional disturbances – particularly with depression and anxiety.
Author: Ainsley Salsbury, BA (Psych), Post Grad. Dip. App. Psych, BBus (HRM).
Ainsley Salsbury is the senior psychologist at Vision Psychology, and has a breadth and depth of experience in addressing psychological issues including executive coaching, leadership and managerial development, workbased stress, performance management, bullying and interpersonal conflict. As well as her credentials as a psychologist, she has a Bachelor in Human Resource Management, and has worked in specialist capacities within large organisations, and consulted extensively as a Corporate Psychologist.
She has spent 12 years of her professional life working with clients from a wide range of backgrounds from Corporate Executives, lawyers and accountants to those in manufacturing, correctional services, health, government, school children and recent humanitarian (refugee) entrants to Australia.
Her work in the field of stress and workplace issues is enriched by her largely Cognitive-Behavioural therapeutic orientation, extensive insight into Organisational Dynamics and Behaviours, knowledge and application of a wide variety of Management and Leadership Models, and a fierce commitment to achieving practical outcomes for her clients.