Negative Thoughts? Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Can Help

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help you stop spiraling over negative thoughts and emotions.

As Effective as Medication

Cognitive Behavior Therapy is one of the most researched therapeutic modalities, proven to be as effective as medication.

Regain Control

You can regain control over your life by changing your thoughts and behaviors.

Change Behavioral Patterns

Trauma-informed therapy, mindfulness, and other modalities can work alongside CBT to change behavioral patterns.

Don’t Let Your Negative Thoughts Run Your Life

  • Do your negative thoughts play like a broken record in your brain?
  • Do you feel like your negative thoughts keep you from living a life full of happiness and joy?
  • Can one negative interaction cause a bad mood for the entire day?
  • Do you often think other people’s behaviors are because of something you did?

Ever feel like you are in Groundhog’s Day with your negative thought cycle? Having occasional anxious thoughts is normal, but you might feel like you’ve lost control over your own mind and emotions when negative thoughts repeat day in and day out. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps you pay more attention to those thoughts and feelings and then choose different behaviors.

How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Can Help Stop Out-of-Control Thoughts

depression vs saddness

About 90 to 95% of our thoughts repeat from one day to the next without us even being aware of them. What we think daily becomes the bedrock of how we see the world around us. Our thoughts provoke emotions that create behaviors. Many of these thought patterns stem from genetics, temperaments, history, changing moods, and past relationships. More so, these thoughts can automatically generate response patterns in our behaviors. About 95% of the way people interact with others has more to do with how they feel rather than what the other person is actually doing.

Here’s an example. Let’s say, one morning you go to work and walk by the receptionist who doesn’t say hello on that particular day. Your mind might quickly begin compiling a list of all of the reasons why she didn’t say hello. You could soon be flooded with thoughts like, “she’s mad at me,” “she doesn’t like me,” “I did something wrong,” or “she’s not respectful.”

More than likely, what’s going on with the receptionist has nothing to do with you. Maybe she woke up feeling unwell, or had a fender bender on her way to work, or is going through a breakup. But, if you have a history of being defensive and often feeling disrespected, your mind will start serving up a steaming plate of negative thoughts. 

At Memor Health, our Cognitive Behavioral Therapists understand these negative spirals and can help you learn to stop them before they get out of control. By working with a licensed CBT therapist, you can start to examine your thoughts and become aware of the emotions and actions they trigger. So, instead of thinking the receptionist’s silence was intentional and walking away absorbed in anxiety, you can catch the start of that negative thought and instead ask her about her morning or if she wants some coffee.

How to Know if CBT is Right for You?

If the example above sounds like something you can relate to, we’ve listed 10 cognitive distortions that CBT can help to change (Find out more about the Cognitive Distortions Questionnaire).

  1. Mind reading: assuming you know what other people are thinking.
  2. Catastrophizing: imagining the worst possible outcomes.
  3. All-or-nothing thinking: seeing outcomes as all good or all bad with no in between.
  4. Emotional reasoning: an emotional reaction proves something is true, regardless of evidence proving otherwise.
  5. Labeling: generalize by taking one characteristic of a person, and applying it to the whole person.
  6. Mental filter: focusing only on the negative aspects of a situation and filtering out all of the positive ones.
  7. Overgeneralization: you apply one experience to all experiences assuming the future outcomes will always be the same.
  8. Personalization: you believe that everything others do or say is some kind of direct, personal reaction to you; or believe you are the cause of some negative external event that you are not responsible for.
  9. Should statements: Should statements (“I should…”) are a common negative thinking pattern, that can increase or cause fear and worry. They also put unreasonable demands and pressure on  the person making the statements, which can make you feel guilty or like you’ve failed.
  10. Minimizing the positive: filtering out all the positive evidence about your performance, and only paying attention to the negative. This reinforces negative feelings and explains away positive ones.

If some of the items on that list sound things you regularly do, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy might be a good fit. Many of us go through our own mental health struggles believing that something is wrong with us. At Memor Health, we want you to know you are not alone. We want to put you on the path to overcoming runaway negative thoughts and taking back control over your own life.

Step 1. Make an Appointment

Tell us what you need by calling (775) 827-2400 or filling out this form.

Step 2. Get The Help you Want

Get expert psychotherapy and medication management in a compassionate, empowering and therapeutic environment.

Step 3. Enjoy Your Life More

Learn ways to stop destructive thoughts and actions, control your moods and shape your life in the way you want.

Ready to make a change?

Get in touch, and talk to a therapist.

Is CBT Really Going to Work for Me?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one of the most researched and successful modalities of therapy being practiced today. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, various studies have shown similarly lower levels of depression and anxiety among clients who use CBT versus those who use medication to treat mental health issues. 

CBT also works alongside other forms of therapy, such as mindfulness and trauma-based approaches. Experiencing trauma can cause PTSD, anxiety, depression, hypervigilance, defensiveness, mistrust, and isolation. CBT allows people to recognize those response patterns and choose different thoughts and associated actions.

If CBT sounds like something you’d like to pursue, Memor Health wants to help you find the right fit. Many of our therapists offer CBT, and depending on your provider, many doctors registered as a psychologist Ph.D., licensed clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, and certified counselors offer Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Yes, You Can Take Back Control of Your Mind

CBT works by putting you as the detective of your own life experience. You can shift from doom-and-gloom thinking to pulling back and saying, “yep, that’s black and white thinking again.” Easier said than done, we know, but with the right behavioral therapy, you can empower change.

Your behavioral health therapist might have you journal daily thoughts and feelings or create a mood or interaction logs to investigate under-the-surface issues and challenge automatic responses. You might also reflect on a bad day to connect moods to preceding interactions. Often, clients who work with CBT report a newfound awareness of repetitive thought patterns. Doing this work allows you to identify cascading thoughts, regain your locus of control, and surrender to what is not within your power.

Although outside factors affect us, they don’t have to control us. While we can often feel like since things are happening to us — pandemics, loss, global events — we have no agency over how we feel. At Memor Health, we want to validate the effects that negative situations can cause on your life. We also want to help you find your inner power to choose your thoughts and actions to create the life you want. 

We all have stressors and thought distortions that create our realities. We want to help you make the choice in the way you see, and interact with the world so that you can regain a balanced life.