Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day 1 - CBT

"Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them." -  Epictetus

As we get started today with the topic of Healthy Thinking, I want to explain the specific perspective I'm going to be writing from before I jump in. There are many schools of thought in the psychology world and many different ways to approach the same issues. While I may dip into more than one modality throughout this series, for the most part I am going to focus on one: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, or CBT.

Many theories address the way a person thinks, albeit through varying lenses. However, the premise behind CBT specifically deals with the fact that our thoughts have a direct impact on the way we feel and the way we act. Thoughts, in and of themselves, are not a peripheral issue in CBT, but rather one of the driving forces behind the theory (hence the cognitive part of the name).

Research has shown that CBT is effective in treating a variety of disorders such as depression, anxiety, panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. I'll address, later in the series, how our thoughts interact with such disorders as the ones mentioned above.

Photo by Fenichel: Aaron Beck, Albert Ellis
A brief history lesson on CBT: Back in the 1950's and 1960's, psychologists such as Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck, emerged with a theoretical orientation that greatly differed from the traditional methods originally developed by Freud. Rather, they favored the perspectives of certain philosophers who believed that the root causes of emotional disturbances exist in the way we view life and in our thoughts. Instead of using psychoanalysis (a la Freud) to treat people they used a more directive approach specifically looking at the thought - feeling - behavior connection. Through the years CBT has been adapted and developed into the approach therapists now use today (some of which will be explained throughout this series... although in less technical language and more applicable to our lives). :)

The National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists is a great resource to learn more about CBT for anyone who might be interested.

So... Why is all of this important? (Aside from being so interesting, right)? Well, as I am going repeat throughout the series our thoughts impact everything we do. Therefore, my thinking regarding this series impacts both how I write it and how you read it. Now that you know a little bit about the lens through which I will be filtering a lot of what I write, you'll have a better understanding of everything from here on out as well.

Looking forward to digging in deeper tomorrow! See you then!


  1. This is going to be awesome and exactly what I need! Looking forward to reading more!

  2. Thanks Kate! I hope it's helpful! (And always a good reminder for myself too). :)