Nowadays, it is not uncommon for someone to end up having Cognitive Behavioural Therapy if they are going through a tough time. This is due to the fact that this is seen as the ideal tool to deal with a whole host of different challenges.
It has been said that one of the good things about it is that there is no need for someone to go into their past and to wallow there. Clearly, if someone is not in a good way, that’s the going to be the last thing that they will want to do.
The Main Focus
When it comes to this type of therapy, someone’s thoughts and behaviours are going to be the main area of concern, with these two parts being seen as the key to changing how they feel. So, no matter how they feel, it will be the result of the thoughts that they have in their head, along with how they behave.
Thus, if they are in a position where they often feel depressed or if they behave in a destructive way, it will be essential for them to change their thoughts and their behaviour. After a number of sessions or a number of months worth, one could find that their life has gradually been transformed.
Cutting off the Weeds
One way of looking at this type of therapy would be to say that it is similar to cutting the tops of off weeds. Not only it is it easier than digging them out, it is also going to be a lot cleaner dong it this way.
But, while cutting the tops off of weeds and not dealing with the roots will only cause them to grow back, it will be slightly different when it comes to dealing with mental and behavioural problems. Unlike weeds, ones negative thoughts, feelings and behaviours won’t have a root.
The Perfect Scenario
This is then why there is no need to go deeper, and it is enough to simply focus on what is taking place in someone’s mind and on their behaviour. Not having to go deeper is also going to please the part of them that is more interested in experiencing pleasure than pain.
This part of them is not going to want to face anything that is painful or dark; it will want to keep everything light and to stay on the surface, so to speak. However, if one can change their life without going into all the heavy stuff, why would they go deeper?
If their feelings are caused by their thoughts, the only thing that they will need to change is their thoughts or to be more precise, their ‘cognitive distortions’. The thoughts in their mind are then just going to be released randomly from their unconscious mind.
Taking control of these thoughts and how they behave is then going to be the way for them to take back control of their life. Another way of looking at this approach is to say that it is just another form of avoidance.
Full of Tricks
Ultimately, the ego mind will do everything it can to avoid itself, and this means that it can even create the impression that it is facing itself. Not only does this part not want to face itself, it is also hell bent on keeping everything the same.
Consciously, then, one can want to change how they feel or how they behave, but another part of them, their unconscious mind, can feel comfortable with what is taking place. This part of them may have formed an identity around what is taking place, not wanting their life to change.
Without understanding the part that their unconscious mind is playing, it can be as if one wants to change their life and that they are not attached to what is taking place. It is then as though it is one truly wants to change; when in reality, a big part of them is going to be holding onto what is taking place.
Yet, unless one is able to get out of their mind and to connect to what is taking place in their body, it is not going to be possible for them to become aware of what is going on. One way to look at this would be to say that one will be on the top floor of a house that is moving all over the place and is not built on firm foundations, but as they are unaware of what is taking place lower down, they are trying to settle the house down by rearranging the furniture on the top floor.
If they were to get out of their head and to get in touch with their body (the part of them that is often described as the unconscious mind), it would give them the chance to see why they are experiencing life as they are. Along with this, it would give them the opportunity to embrace their true-self.
What they could find is that they are carrying a lot trauma in their body, which is causing most of their negative thoughts, feelings and behaviours. The roots (the cause) are then in their body and the branches (the symptoms) are appearing in their head.
The reason why one will be able to embrace their true-self by being in their body is because this is not something that is found in their head. Their feelings and needs, two things that are found in their body, are a key part of their true-self.
Now, of course, one can live in their head and decorate what is known as a false-self, but this part of them will only be interested in doing what is can to please others. The outcome of this is that one will end up neglecting who they are.
It would be easy to say that as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is another thing that the ego has created to avoid itself that it should be done away with. But, this would be the equivalent of removing the stabilizers from a bike before someone knows how to ride; it wouldn’t make sense, and it would be cruel.
In many ways, this approach is simply a reflection of where humanity is at when it comes to their level of self-awareness and self-knowledge. Just as the ego doesn’t want to face pain, it also doesn’t want to look within, which is why far more is known about the external world than the internal world.
When it comes to dealing with the trauma that is in someone’s body, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by a therapist or a healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.