Cognitive Behavioral Therapy(CBT) is an evidenced- based treatment that has been shown to significantly reduce depression and anxiety which may be contributing to problems in your relationships. Frequently, couples come in to session making broad generalizations about one another: “You never listen!” “You always forget to take out the trash”, “Your work is more important to you than I am!” We then infer meaning from such generalizations such as “You don't love me enough,” “You are losing interest or, “You don't understand me.”
Using CBT, together we can explore the relationships between our thoughts, feelings and actions. According to CBT, every single one of us engages in what are called automatic thought patterns ordistorted thinking patterns, which then have a direct effect on the way we FEEL and therefore the way we ACT. CBT states that our thoughts affect our feelings which then affect our actions/behaviors. Examples of common automatic thinking patterns include catastrophizing (If I don't pass this test I’m going to fail college and will never get a job), black & white thinking (perfect/worthless; success/failure), and personalizing (he ignored me when he walked by so he must hate me versus he didn't see me or he was distracted).
Through uncovering, identifying, and then owning our own automatic thinking patterns, we are then able to track what emotions these thoughts trigger in us (hopelessness, helplessness, fear, anger ) and then observe how these feelings affect our behavior (withdraw, isolate, become aggressive, demanding, violent, etc). Through identifying our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, we are then able to create more balanced thinking patterns, which then affects our feelings and subsequently may lead us to taking different, new actions (engaging, increasing compassion, connecting, applying for your dream job, etc.)