Working out the real source of a problem can be surprisingly difficult. When our emotions are getting the better of us there are often compounding situations, or perhaps life is just not turning out the way we wanted and expected but we don’t really know why? There is also often a payoff in self sabotaging behaviours that actively encourages us to hold onto them, for example, someone that imposes high standards upon themselves can hold on to a belief “I’m a failure” in order to avoid taking real risks and therefore avoid actually failing. Human beings are complex creatures!
Effective CBT centres around examining our emotions as well as our thoughts and behaviours. It is our emotions – our feelings about things – that cause us the most problems in life, but it is our thoughts and behaviours that we have to modify in order to change our emotions. It is not uncommon for people to not be in touch with their emotions however, some are naturally inclined that way, some people however have learned to shut down their emotions as a coping mechanism. For whatever the reason, it can at times be a difficult process to truly understand how we feel.
Even when we do know how we feel about something it can be difficult to know where to start as there may be many emotions involved. Someone that is seeking assistance for an abusive relationship for example should not necessarily address the relationship issues first. This person is likely to be experiencing low self-acceptance and perhaps depression, and these issues may need to be addressed first in order to build the client back up again in order for them to have the strength to deal with the relationship issues.
The benefit of engaging a therapist when doing this work is that they bring an objective view point to your situation and are trained in techniques to assist you to get to the heart of the matter, the true cause of an issue and the real feelings that surround it. They can assist you to get to know yourself better. At Enhance Your Life Therapy a fun approach to this journey of discovery is encouraged with an ever expanding selection of activities designed with self discovery in mind. You can of course undertake these exercises on your own, it is your choice.
As always in CBT, the aim is to give you new knowledge and teach you new skills in the short term that enable you to become your own therapist, to continue to apply these skills to all areas of your life so that you can truly get the most out of living, not just now, but well into the future.