CBT - Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny” Unknown author.
Albert Ellis was an American psychologist and one of the founders of CBT. He is considered one of the most influential psychotherapists in history who helped drag psychotherapy out of Freud's age and into the future. Ellis thought that people can rationally choose to change and that a psychotherapist's job is to nudge them, gently or otherwise, in the right direction. His confrontational approach was a direct challenge to the drawn-out process of Freudian psychoanalysis. "The trouble with most therapy is that it helps you to feel better. But you don't get better. You have to back it up with action, action, action." At the time, his ideas were very controversial, "Practically all psychologists and psychiatrists hated me. They thought it was superficial and stupid. They resented that I said therapy doesn't have to take years."
Dr Ellis's insights evolved, in great part, from personal experiences. At 19, when he was, by his own estimate, painfully shy of women, he set himself a task. Hanging around a bench in the New York Botanical Garden one summer, he decided that he would speak to every single woman who sat down alone. In one month, he approached 130 women. In one month, he said, "I completely got over my shyness by thinking differently, feeling differently and, in particular, acting differently."
I am pretty sure he’d be arrested if he did that today, but he also based a lot of his work on Stoicism and Greek, Roman and modern philosophers as well as his own experience. His focus was not on excavating childhood, but on confronting irrational thoughts that led to self-destructive feelings and behaviour.
Just because people do not like adversity, they decide that it should not exist. They say, 'You disturbed me,' or, 'It disturbed me,' or, 'My mother disturbed me,' '' he said. ''They won't accept responsibility for their own disturbance. They refuse to accept the way it is. And then they get depressed about their depression. They rage about their rage. They're screwballs.'' Albert Ellis
I am not saying you are a screwball (not sure anyone even uses that term anymore.) But CBT is about taking responsibility and confronting irrational thoughts. It does not give you a lot of time to reflect; it will challenge you and be very direct. CBT can help people by giving them rational coping statements to overcome irrational self-destructive beliefs.
“You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realise how seldom they do." Mark Twain
Many people believe CBT is the way to quickly get to the heart of the matter and 1000s of self-help books use his techniques. Rather than write the whole treatise on the work involved I have interjected this page with quotes that help summarise this modality more succinctly. CBT is not for everybody, and some of the methods can often sound quite brutal and demanding. But therapy is 'work', and if we want to change and shift out patterns of behaviour, it may often feel that way. However, I can offer unconditional positive regard and bags of empathy on your journey to understand yourself.
“I get people to truly accept themselves unconditionally, whether or not their therapist or anyone loves them." Albert Ellis
So if you would like to talk to me more about CBT and what it might help you with. Give me a call.
Want to know a little more.
Here's some recommended reading around CBT & REBT;
How To Stubbornly Refuse To Make Yourself Miserable About Anything-yes, Anything! Albert Ellis
How To Control Your Anxiety Before It Controls You - Albert Ellis
The Coddling of the American Mind - Jonathan Haidt / Greg Lukianoff
Other CBT professionals
CBT Life coach