Farah is a 49-year-old female, who complains of difficulty sleeping (insomnia), feeling sad (depressed mood), and has held the belief that her daughter, Mia, was stealing her money and was trying to poison her food (paranoia). Ron, the psychiatrist seeing Farah for the first time, examined her and noticed a lump (nodule) in her neck, some hand tremors, and weight loss. Ron quickly assessed for acute risk, referred Farah to an endocrinologist, who confirmed a diagnosis of hyperthyroidism, treated Farah, and the psychiatric symptoms, including paranoia, subsided.
Arianna’s dream was to become a researcher. “My older brother has been sick and suffering a lot, and I want to help him and also help stop suffering in the world.” She often said these words to herself, as a way to remember that keeping her promise alive meant hard work, keeping up with great grades, and maintaining her extracurricular activities. Arianna wanted to be sure she was doing all the right things to get ready for college and in preparation for graduate school. At age 15; however, Arianna suddenly developed some unusual and disturbing symptoms…
“Talking about these cognitive distortions has been helpful. What are some of the other ones?" Vladimir, a colleague who previously did not think much about CBT, has now become a believer.
After providing the background on CBT and an overview of cognitive restructuring and automatic thoughts, I then started to talk with him about cognitive distortions. Here we discuss 3 more...
Do your patients and clients tend to overgeneralize when they talk about themselves, their relationships, and the world at large? Make a note, put on your clinical and coaching hat, use the Socratic method, and your Motivational Interviewing spirit, and work with them.
“Hearing the history of CBT was very helpful; it put things in perspective. I heard you say how changing our patients’ thoughts will then help them change their feelings and then their behavior. How does that really work?”
As you now can see, CBT emanates from psychoanalytical principles, and instead of a “quick fix,” it touches on the core beliefs of our patients andclients, and the resulting changes have been shown to be long lasting.