Psycho-Babble Psychology | about psychological treatments | Framed
This thread | Show all | Post follow-up | Start new thread | List of forums | Search | FAQ

CBT - Even if thoughts ARE accurate it still helps fi

Posted by bozeman on March 29, 2003, at 15:07:22

In reply to Re: CBT - what if thoughts accurate?, posted by fi on March 28, 2003, at 17:14:08

Hello Fi!

We haven't "talked" before, as I'm pretty new to posting, but I'm glad to "meet" you. :-)

What I'm about to say is based on my own experiences only, not intended as global generalization.

I don't have the impression that CBT is "anti-medication". When I was dealing with the distortions (this was many years ago, and I'm not even sure it had a catchy name like CBT in those days. I don't remember them calling it anything special, but the list of ten distortions PuraVida posted awhile back is sure what we were working through) they were presented to me as something to add to my "toolkit" so to speak, so I would have a broader variety of coping skills to deal with the many, varied, very real stresses in my life. My therapist even told me he didn't think there was anything really "wrong" with me, I just had an amazingly complex and stressful life, and no available support system at that time, and that any person, no matter how strong, would eventually start to crack under pressure like that. So he worked with me to give me more resilience in the face of unavoidable stress, and to make healthy coping mechanisms more of a habit instead of something I had to work to achieve. For instance, the "not taking things as personally directed at me". Especially when I was under stress, my initial reaction to unkindness and backbiting from my screwed-up boss was to take it as personally directed at me, even though I could sit and ponder it rationally and realize that the man was completely unconscious in his life and that his misery was directed at *everyone* in his general vicinity because his loathing was really directed at himself. We just all received the obvious fruits of it. Ron's point (my therapist at that time) was that we make it a habit for me to NOT take things personally so every time the boss did something stupid/unkind/ridiculous, I wouldn't have to spend two hours talking myself through it, which was especially valuable since the boss did these things at least once a day and it was eating up a huge chunk of my time and energy dealing with it and defusing its effect on me. Ron also helped me see that my best defense against this very unhappy individual was that, on the rare occasion that he really did intend his unkindness and criticism as a personal attack on me, that if I were in the habit of not taking it personally, not only would I be much less harmed, but I could take some kind of sense of accomplishment in knowing that he didn't have the satisfaction of getting to me, and that it probably drove him nuts. :-)

Learning to process my thoughts and feelings and deal with my "inner self talk" more proactively was incredibly valuable. I, too, didn't think that some of the distortions applied to me, but working through them with a talented, caring therapist was still of benefit, as I discovered some ways I was fooling myself and diffusing my energy that I hadn't realized I was doing, on my own. I wouldn't think of it as a "substitute" for medication, per se. If you're sick you're sick, regardless of how you got that way, and you still need medication to make you well. Even if the way you got sick was allowing others to make you feel helpless (I have read documented studies that depression can be induced in animals by taking away their sense of being able to affect their environment), you are still unbalanced and need the meds. I see CBT as a way to make you more resilient so you are less likely to need meds, or may need them for a shorter duration if you do, but not as a substitute for meds per se.

But I also view meds (for many people, admittedly not for all) as a means to an end, not the end in itself. I am on medication right now because (due to health reasons) I got so weak and tired that I lost the ability to think cognitively and clearly about things in my life so my coping skills were of no use to me. I got so bad that even once my health began to improve, I couldn't break free of the negative patterns that had set in, in my psyche. I am now working very hard to cognitively address those patterns, while I have the safety net of the medication to keep me from falling into the Pit of Despair. For me, medication is a tool, like the other pieces of my "toolkit". Eventually I hope to be able to put it back in the kit, for later use if need be, but not to keep it as a constantly active tool.

I hope this helps some. As always, Your Mileage May Vary. Best of luck, whatever you decide to do.

Peace and Good Health to you.





Post a new follow-up

Your message only Include above post

Notify the administrators

They will then review this post with the posting guidelines in mind.

To contact them about something other than this post, please use this form instead.


Start a new thread

Google www
Search options and examples
[amazon] for

This thread | Show all | Post follow-up | Start new thread | FAQ
Psycho-Babble Psychology | Framed

poster:bozeman thread:208554