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4 Common Myths about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Have you heard of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) but aren’t really sure what it means?

Do you wonder if CBT treatments could help you with mood disorders?

Are you having a hard time sorting through the myths to get to the facts?

According to Psychology Today, “Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy that treats problems and boosts happiness by modifying dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and thoughts.”

Unlike traditional psychoanalysis, CBT focuses encouraging patients to change destructive patterns of behavior.

4 common myths about cognitive behavioral therapy are:

Myth: Cognitive behavioral therapy is mechanical and too technique driven.
Fact: While CBT does look to scientific evidence when available, it also prioritizes the relationship, rapport, and a working connection between a patient and his or her psychologist.

Myth: Cognitive behavioral therapy only treats symptoms, but not the whole person.
Fact: When done properly, CBT is not just about reducing symptoms. According to Psychology Today, “we are social beings whose relationships and interpersonal connections are vital parts of our lives.” When symptoms (both physical and emotional) are treated properly, the whole person improves as a result.

Myth: The past is unimportant.
Facts: Cognitive behavioral therapists are very interested in their client’s past experiences and history, because life experiences shape and influence us to be who we are. A good cognitive behavioral therapist will strive to understand all social and psychological factors that might be relevant to a patient’s treatment.

Myth: CBT is limited by available scientific evidence.
Fact: While it’s true that cognitive behavioral therapy tries to set its course using research findings, it is by no means limited. In addition to understanding techniques and methods used in psychology, a good psychologist will also often use some form of data to drive treatment.

If you think cognitive behavioral therapy can help you with mood and behavioral disorders, we want to help. Our experienced psychologists will create a treatment plan tailored especially for your needs. Give us a call today to get started!

Differences between Worry and Anxiety

Have you been feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or depressed?

Are you struggling to describe your feelings or are you tired of having your feelings dismissed as just being “worried”?

People often use the terms “worry” and “anxiety” interchangeably, but doctors say they are very different psychological traits. Although they are both associated with a general sense of concern, the way we experience them is quite different.

The five main differences between worry and anxiety disorder, according to Psychology Today, are:

  1. We tend to experience worry in our heads and anxiety in our bodies. Worry tends to be more focused on thoughts in our heads, while anxiety is more physical in that we feel it throughout our bodies.
  2. Worry tends to be specific while anxiety is more diffuse. For example, we worry about getting to the airport on time (a specific threat), but we feel anxious about traveling – a vaguer, more general concern.
  3. Worry is verbally focused while anxiety includes verbal thoughts and mental imagery. This difference is important, as emotional mental images associated with anxiety provoke a greater cardiovascular response than emotional verbal thoughts, such as those associated with worry. This is another reason why we experience anxiety throughout the body.
  4. Worry often triggers anxiety problem solving but anxiety does not. Worry can lead us to think about solutions and strategies for dealing with a given situation. Anxiety is more like a hamster wheel that spins us around, but doesn’t lead us to productive solutions.
  5. Worry creates mild emotional distress, anxiety can create severe emotional distress. Anxiety is simply a much more powerful, disruptive, and problematic psychological state than worry.

Do any of those five differences stand out to you? Have you experienced feelings like those described above?

If you’ve experienced feelings that you think are closer to anxiety than just general worries, call us at Gratiot Psychological Services. Our experienced team of doctors will sit down with you and come up with a plan to help you deal with your anxiety disorder in Alma.

If you or a loved one is struggling with anxiety, you don’t have to do it alone! Contact us today for an appointment at 989-796-4555. We can help you get on the right path to recovery.