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Cognitive Therapy, what *is* it like?

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Anyone care to share what cognitive therapy is like?


I told my doctor today I can't handle this pharmaceutics stuff anymore, I'm tired of it changing and always having negative effects on me. For a while it's good, then it turns out badly; there's really little relief involved.


She's set me up a referral for cognitive therapy. She says it's short term and behavior based.


What should I expect? My particular symptoms all stem off menopause, but I don't know if that makes a difference with how things go with cognitive therapy.


Any outline/stories experiences out there to share?


I'll be googling later after my duties are done, so links are appreciated as well if you want to share. :)



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Cognitive therapy, in general, is based on the idea that our thoughts affect our feelings. So, it's not that someone/something "causes" you to feel angry, for example, it's our thoughts that lead us to feel angry.


It tends to be based on questions/conversation. "What makes you think your friend was being rude? Could there be another explanation for her behavior?"


It tends to be more goal-oriented than typical therapy -- i.e. what concern/behavior/problem do you want to solve? Let's work on that. (As opposed to "Please tell me about your childhood," etc.)


The therapist may teach you techniques for dealing with whatever issue you'd like to deal with.


I was trained as a counselor, and Cognitive Therapy and a related therapy (Brief Therapy) were the focus of some of my coursework. This type of therapy can be very successful when you're dealing with a set of issues that are defined and specific.


Having said that, have you looked into natural, non-pharmaceutical treatments for menopausal symptoms? Acupuncture? Chiropractic? Herbs/Vitamins/Diet/natural hormones? There are some terrific therapies out there for menopause that would be great to try -- along with Cognitive Therapy.


Hope you're feeling better soon.



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Cognitive therapy is based on the fact that our thoughts/interpretations of things affect our feelings, and we can learn to restructure our thoughts and cope with our feelings.


If someone pushed you, your feelings toward that person would vary depending on whether he was being aggressive or getting you out of the way of an oncoming train. Though that is perhaps an extreme example, there are less extreme things going on all the time in our heads which are not based on what happened but our interpretation of what happened. So one step is kind of implanting a mental microphone in your brain so you tune into what you're saying to yourself, then you evaluate the truthfulness of it. An example might be a boss says, " You have had a fantastic quarter. You're a highly valued employee. One thing I'd like you to improve on though is getting to work on time." Person A says to self: Oh, I'm a terrible person! I can never do the right thing. I'll never measure up. : Person B says to self, "Cool." Person C says to self, "Glad to know that the boss recognizes my work. What keeps me from getting to work on time and what can I do about it?" Guess which person has depression? Guess what the therapist is going to coach you to try in terms of self-talk?


When we get anxious, we get physical symptoms: racing heart rate, shallow breathing, etc. Cognitive behavioral therapy will also teach you how to get your body into a relaxed state and how to use that skill when you're anxious--in addition to changing the self-talk that fuels the anxiety spiral.


Don't have time to type more, but that should give you the gist of what to expect.

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It is not a navel gazing, forever, self*centered* type of therapy. It won't expect you to be in therapy forever, blame your parents, or "go with the feelings."


It's a practical approach, and designed to have results fast. A good practitioner will allow you to identify your goals, and will structure therapy around those goals. With those identified goals in mind, the therapist will ask questions to "get" your thinking behind the issues you identify, and help you *think* about those issues in ways that are useful, productive, and serve you. If that's not possible, your therapist will help you brainstorm, prioritize solutions, and execute.


A cbt practitioner may also use behavioral techniques to help you with changing habits, lose weight, etc.

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Well this is all very good!


My main complaint w/menopause is the wildly extreme and unexpected surges of adrenaline. It's not really cool at 2 a.m. feeling like a grizzly has you by the throat. Kinda throws me off routine.


I'd been taking klonopin/ambien for sleep and adrenaline, but it's really worn off. She told me today that these are drugs that can build tolerance levels, and I'd probably hit them. They are no good to me anymore, they might as well issue me a placebo.


So, a roller coaster appears after a while with lack of sleep and unusual adrenaline dumps during the day. (But my house is flipping clean as it gets, lol) It usually ends up in extreme fatigue after a while, which makes basic life more difficult than it should be, it's like there's no catching up; it's a weird kind of stress, and I'm getting too old for this crap.


From what I understand, a person can exhaust their adrenal glands to the point they are "busted" and just go wonky any old time they want without trigger. I think I'm there.


I did some surfing about, and it looks like cognitive therapy is sort of a directed guide for lifestyle management. Kinda like I have someone to report to in making goals, then keeping up healthy decisions like diet, exercise, relaxation. I can see long range where being diligent and determined, consistent could really help with this problem. I keep dropping the ball there.


I generally don't trust my emotional feelings, nor act out on them right away, I have to sit on them a long time, because the complex difficult ones, the stressful ones, are made during a time of duress; it's not the optimum time for good clear decision making. It's absolutely nuts to be stressed out and have to walk around saying, "Oh, it's nothing, everything is fine.." It's not fine, I want to go turn over cars in the parking lot I feel so mean! :lol:


I could easily verbalize them, sure, but they are just a tangle of yarn if I'm not rested, fed and relaxed. Which isn't often lately....man that adrenaline is wicked stuff.

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