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Why Choose Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Is Cognitive Therapy right for me?

There are many different kinds of “talk therapy”, and choosing the best one is sometimes trial and error. So it is good to do your research so that you know what questions to ask a potential therapist, and can better decide if he or she is right for you.

 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has many benefits, especially if you don’t want to spend years in therapy or counseling. It addresses behaviors and thought patterns and works in the present time rather than analyzing the past. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is not about diving into what you or your parents did when you were a child. Rather, it aims to focus on the present issues at hand.

 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy teaches through self-awareness, moderating your thinking, and dealing rationally with behaviors and thought processes. The average length of a CBT relationship between client and therapist is 16 sessions. This cuts down on both time and money. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is all about giving you concrete tools to navigate your emotions, control your thinking, and thus eliminate unwanted behaviors.

 

CBT operates well for all cultures and ethnicities as it is about common, universal human behaviors and thought patterns. It is focused on the goals of the client.

 

CBT sessions are not just random chats. They are more structured for better therapeutic results.

 

The basic premise and principle of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is that the way we think determines our behaviors, and changing our thinking changes how we live.

 

CBT is therapy for the modern working person, and also for people for whom protracted therapy techniques do not work. It helps you set goals and shows you how to create the steps to achieve those goals. It is pragmatic in its essence, and won’t allow you to dally around in your past.

 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is often the only choice for those who have been stuck and going around in circles. It is concrete, quick, and very successful for many.

How to Deal with A Breakup and Become A Better Person

 

How to Overcome Breakups

No one likes to go through broken hearts. But it’s absolutely guaranteed that a broken heart is a part of everyone’s story. Whether it was the girl in third grade, or your first love, or even a divorce, break ups are never easy to cope with. According to social psychologists, there are five stages that everyone dealing with loss and grief goes through. Each step is a personal journey to a better life ahead of you, as you take advantage of new opportunities. The steps of grief are as follows:

Denial

When we first enter the realm of break ups or divorces, there is a part of us that refuses to believe it’s really happening. We think maybe our partner will change their mind. Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow and it will blow over. Maybe I’ll give them a week to calm down and then we’ll talk. Denial comes in many forms, and it’s easy to stay comfortably in denial. As reality begins to set in, we move onto step two.

Anger

Once our brain registers the severity of the situation, we get angry. Anger is a natural response to things that are beyond our own control. We’re angry because we our partner left. We’re angry because they aren’t doing everything in their control to make things better. It feels like a betrayal when we trusted them more than anyone else. Anger is normal, and healthy. It’s also common to be angry at ourselves for things that we should have done in the past. The trick to coping with this stage of loss is to turn the anger into something productive. Use it to get more done at work. Use it as motivation to work out. Set some new goals and channel that energy into making choices that will improve who you are a person.

Bargaining

Once the anger settles and things begin to calm down, the bargaining begins. Whether we are bargaining with ourselves: “What if I did this differently?”, or… we try to bargain with the ex-partner to get back together by saying “I can change”.

Depression

Although I might argue that depression can emerge at any point along the process, it’s predicted to come out after the bargaining stage. Depression is the times when our sadness takes over our whole feelings, and there is not anything you can do to emerge from it. During times of depression it’s important to lean on some good friends. Talk out your situation, and read inspirational things. Listen to upbeat music, and do your best to just keep chugging along. Depression will slowly fade into just a twinge of sadness, and then you’ll find yourself in the last step of grief.

Acceptance

Reaching acceptance isn’t always an easy process. Sometimes break ups are sudden or especially painful. It’s really hard to accept things that we don’t understand. I’ve found that doing your best to understand the situation is the best way to learn to accept it. Listen to the things your partner said during the break up. Think critically about the relationship, and don’t obsess over just the good things. Of course there were good times, but breakups don’t occur for no reason. Were you unhappy at the core? Was it bad timing? The important thing is to not resist acceptance. Refusing to accept a situation will keep you in a revolving door of the steps above. You’ll be stuck in anger and depression, even denial at some points.

Chances are there is always room for personal improvement after the end of a relationship. You just spent so much time focusing on a whole separate being. Imagine if you took that energy and poured it into your own wellbeing. Take this time to write down goals and achieve them. Use the extra energy as motivation to become a better version of you. A version of you that you will be proud to share with someone else in the future.

Scared to see a counselor?

 

Being scared to seek counseling is really common. After all, we’ve been taught that we should solve our own problems! Sometimes overcoming the realization that we need help isn’t an easy thing to do. Even if whatever your challenge is isn’t serious, admitting that we can’t fix the situation ourselves is difficult. Maybe you know what you should be doing, but you aren’t motivated to do it. Maybe you’ve just got a couple roadblocks to overcome. Whatever it is, you’re thinking that talking it over with a counselor might be helpful, but you’re a little scared to get started. Counseling can be the first step you take in making a difference in your life.

Here are some things to think about while considering seeking some guidance:

Hope Counseling | Session

 

It’s only a conversation

Sometimes all it takes is one meeting with a counselor to get the advice we’re looking for. Maybe it’ll take two. Maybe you’ll decide it’s really helpful and become a returning client. Either way, you’re not losing anything by just making one appointment.

You run things

If there’s a topic you don’t want to discuss, you don’t have to talk about it! Sometimes people are afraid that counselors will try to get inside your head and read your thoughts. Although this would be an amazing super power, I don’t know any counselors that can actually do that. If there is a topic you don’t want to talk about, just say so. If you feel like the conversation is going in a bad direction, say so. You have the stage to work on whatever problem you want to work on.

It’s Effective

You know how just venting to your friends is so cathartic? Imagine that your friend was actually educated in how to help you perfectly. That’s what counseling is. Many people have overcome depression, relationship issues, or self-esteem issues just by working through their problems with a therapist. They’ll help you look at your situation from a different angle.

Start with a phone call

Call the office and request to just talk to someone on the phone, to get a feeling if talking it out is something that can help you. You’ve got nothing invested, and you’re totally anonymous. If once you talk to the counselor for a bit, you’ve decided that it might be helpful to schedule a full session, go ahead! You’ve already made huge progress.

How to Cope with Being Alone

Hope CounselingHumans are inherently social creatures. We thrive from connections that we create with loved ones. And although there is a large spectrum of comfort with social contact, it is true that we all need to feel connected. When we are forced to be alone by whichever life matters have brought us there, coping with solo life can be difficult. Here are some things to consider trying during your streak of independence:

Have a happy mindset:

Most of our troubles are created by our frame of mind. Look at this as an opportunity to explore and learn more about yourself. You now have this time to devote to yourself! This really is true independence. Keep an open mind about meeting new people, and engaging in new activities. Happiness comes from within. Don’t make excuses!

Learn Something New:

What is something that you always wish you had learned? For me, I would love to learn how to play the guitar. During a time when I was alone previously, I learned how to knit. Take lessons or watch video tutorials online. Connect with others who have a passion for whatever it is you want to learn to do. They will love the opportunity to share their passion, and you will get to absorb their knowledge!

Adopt a Pet:

For longer periods of time alone, pets are great way to focus your need for connection. Dogs are great because they really love their humans. Their reliance upon you will help to give purpose to your day. If you can’t adopt a pet, volunteer at your local animal shelter. Walking the dogs is a great chance for you to get out, take walks, and connect with another being.  

Read:

This summer my goal is to read five new books. There is always something to be gained from reading. You’ll become more educated, pass time, and become a better-rounded person. Check out some classics like Huckleberry Finn, Wizard of Oz, The Catcher in the Rye, or The Great Gatsby. Walden, by Henry David Thoreau is about a spiritual quest to live independently in nature.

Exercise:

Imagine getting that body you’ve always wanted. Now you have no excuses. Wake up with the sun and just take a walk. Join a work out class. There is Yoga, Pilates, Barre, Spin, Zumba, Weight Lifting, and SO MANY MORE! Some big cities offer free exercise classes outside during the summer. You’ll look great, feel better, and you’ll seriously impress your loved ones next time you see them. See this story about a woman who took advantage of her time away from her husband to drop 100 pounds.

Pick up hours at work:

Focusing your extra hours into your work life will give you an extra cushion in your bank account. You will have more free money to pay off bills or save for your next goal. If putting in more hours at work sounds like the worst idea in the world, consider volunteering. It’ll still keep you busy, but you will have more control over your schedule and hours. You’ll be making a positive impact in the world as well!

Explore:

Go outside! It’s a big beautiful world out there! You won’t meet any interesting people by staying home. Get yourself a pair of hiking shoes and explore local state parks. Connect with nature by kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, swimming, or even just having lunch in the park.

 

 

 

How to Get through an Argument with Your Mate

Okay, so maybe that’s easier said than done. Each of us reacts to anger in our own, unique way. Some people can let the little things go, while others get lost in their emotions, seeing only red, and often acting unreasonable.

First, it’s hard, but try to understand what is making you unhappy, so that you can have a rational, adult discussion with your mate. Even simply reflecting before you respond shows a great deal of respect.

Then, ask yourself how severe your problem is. Was it unforgivable, or was it something minor than you can let go? If it’s the latter, try letting your guard down. In a battle, someone has to back down; it doesn’t work well if both parties are overly combative. If the issue isn’t that huge in the grand scheme of things, try hard to let it go.

It’s like the infamous professor story:

  • A professor picked up an empty mayonnaise jar and filled it with golf balls.
  • He asked the students if the jar was full. They said that it was…
  • The professor picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly.
  • The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.
  • He asked the students again if the jar was full. They said that it was…
  • The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. The sand filled up everything else.
  • He asked once more if the jar was full. They said that it was…
  • The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.

‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things—your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else; the small stuff.

‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Take care of the golf balls first—the things that really matter.

Set your priorities; the rest is just sand.

(Read the full version here- http://www.biz.colostate.edu/mti/tips/pages/MayonnaiseJarandTwo-Beers.aspx)

Relationship Advice: Men and Women Communicate Differently [INFOGRAPHIC]

Making a relationship work is all about communication, love, and respect. First, understand that men and women behave and converse differently, which means they sometimes interpret body language and actions contrary from the true message. Women handle their woes and emotions differently from men, and a lack of proper empathy is often the downfall to many couples.

Helpful tips for communicating with the ladies:

  • Sometimes, women have a hard time asking for help. She may be aware that you’re not a mind reader, but she still may feel too weak or proud to admit it. Sometimes, simply asking if there’s anything you can do to help is the best gesture.
  • Don’t size-up your finances unless she specifically mentions it, you may worry more about your income than she does.
  • Even if it’s a small lie, it will make everything so, so much worse when she finds out.
  • Women… just… cry. She may not know why or when, but it’s a natural thing and it happens to many women. Crying doesn’t mean she’s mad or sad, it simply means she’s feeling emotional, and it could be about anything.

Helpful tips for communicating with men:

  • Playing shy or unavailable is one thing, but when a girl plays excessively hard to get, it can cause him to lose interest, so be careful. Avoid serious head games at all costs.
  • He’s sensitive about his looks too; if you expect compliments from your guy, be ready to give some too.
  • If you don’t want him to judge your clothing size, don’t judge the size of his bank account.

 

Both genders should always avoid harsh words and name calling during arguments, as those wounds are sometimes the hardest to heal.

For an in-depth look at how different the two genders really are, browse over this intriguing infographic: 

Relationship facts revealed: Men vs. Women

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

 

What are Personality Tests and How do They Help?

A personality test is a way to determine what drives a person, and who they really are. It can reveal aspects about someone’s psyche and genetic code. Many employers, schools, and military services call for a personality test, as the insight will help ensure they select the ideal candidate.

Personality tests are also ideal for assessing criminal minds during an investigation, as well as those who have frequent and dramatic personality changes. Many people use them for everyday reasons as well, such as finding a mate or learning about themselves.

True happiness comes when you can truly understand and love yourself as you are; completely accept your personality and adapt accordingly. You can learn a lot about yourself by asking yourself the right questions, and by taking a personality test. You can work from the results to make positive changes in your life.

You can also use these tests to evaluate the progress of therapy or healing techniques. By taking a personality test, you open yourself up to a world of options for self-improvement but you can also catch or diagnose common psychological disorders you didn’t know you had.

Everyone can benefit from a personality test, so don’t feel nervous or afraid, you’re simply learning about a part of who you are.

The Blame Game has no place in a relationship

Ahh yes, the blame game. It happens in every marriage or relationship. Someone’s missteps are used as an edge in a fight, or even a relationship. “Well, you did this… and remember when you…” These are some of the worst fights — fights where we build a case against one another, prosecuting the one we love.

That doesn’t make much sense for a variety of reasons.

Building your case fuels the fire: When you build a case to prove your loved one is wrong, is basically prosecuting them like you’re a lawyer. Your defense is prosecuting them, not rationalizing with them, which is what they want. Does it feel good winning those battles?

When someone makes a mistake, no one feels as bad as the one who makes it, especially when they understand that they’re wrong. Instead of building your case, try and keep things in perspective. What does last week’s forgetfulness about cleaning the bathroom have to do with leaving your spouse’s car in the street overnight? Building a case only creates more tension.

Here are a few ways you can help cool the fire.

Be patient, thoughtful: Kneejerk reactions never end well. If you feel your prosecutor, or spouse, is out to get you, think of your response before giving one back. Fighting fire with fire doesn’t work. Be patient and reflect on the situation. Maybe you are wrong or maybe your husband or wife just doesn’t understand the situation. Instead of being deflective, try being reflective.

Leave the door open for feedback and communication: – Change doesn’t happen when you leave the door shut. Being open to criticism or feedback can go a long way, but that’s as long as you yearn for the truth. Listen to your partner and hear the truth in what they have to say. So be open to feedback “What do I need to do to get better?”

The blame game happens in all relationships. Everyone’s to blame and no one takes fault. But no matter how stubborn you or your spouse is, no one in the blame game ends up a winner. The real winner understands the problem, focuses on remedying it, and doesn’t build a case like they’re a hot shot attorney.