Intro to Psych 101

Many people throughout the ages have viewed the change process differently.  One that has risen to the top has been Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  It has risen because it can be manualized, quantified (albeit this is up to debate), and it works.  I don’t qualify its ability to work because of how often I’ve seen it make long lasting change within my clients.  I want to lay out a couple of its main principles in the next two blog posts.

As Monty Python says, one of these is not like the other.  You can change your thoughts fairly easily.  For instance, don’t think of a big elephant.  Gotcha.  You can change your behaviors fairly quickly as well.  I can start typing a sentence or I can sto… p.  The thing that I cannot do is directly change my feelings.  To wit, a therapist, parent or professor can’t tell you to stop feeling a certain way.  “Stop feeling so depressed Jenny!”

However, we are not slaves to our feelings and we change them constantly.  The flexibility of emotions and gradations of emotions are important concepts here.  There is a difference between feeling pleasant, giddy, happy, and ecstatic.  Once you have been able to identify an emotion that you would like to change, it is important to address the feelings that you are having by looking at what thoughts and behaviors that are associated with that emotion.

-Logan Williamson, LPC

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