“Think Happy – Be Happy”
Growing up has never been easy, but in this digitised age the path to adulthood can be an particularly isolating and challenging. For the Instagram and Snapchat generation it can often feel as though everyone else is more confident, self-assured and energetic. When you’re struggling with life’s challenges and can’t see a solution, it can be helpful to talk freely to someone who isn’t there to judge, but rather to listen and help you navigate the road forward.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)is different to traditional therapies. It is well known for being short term, collaborative and focused on a person’s goals.
CBT recognises that our emotional experiences and reactions are a result of our ‘cognitions’ (i.e. our thoughts, beliefs, interpretations). It is not the situation itself which results in difficult feelings, but instead how we interpret that situation. In sessions at The Cove, we focus on the ‘here and now’, identifying connections between how someone thinks, feels and behaves. We look at how these connections result in negative feelings and are then able to break the pattern and develop healthier coping strategies. Often people notice changes relatively quickly, feeling more able to tackle current problems.
CBT: Connecting how we think with how we feel
By way of explanation, let’s look at a potential scenario that illustrates how what we think affects how we feel and behave. Imagine walking into your classroom. Just as your classmates see you they start to laugh. How would you feel?
You might think, “Nobody likes me. They’re laughing at me. I’m a terrible person. There’s no use in even trying today. I just want to go home and back to bed.” How would these thoughts make you feel? Sad, depressed or something similar?
Or you might think, “They’re laughing at me. Have I got food in my teeth or is my underwear on show? It must be my new school bag. I told my mum I wanted the other one. I can feel my heart racing and myself blushing. Now they must be really laughing at me. I can’t cope. I need to escape.” How would these thoughts make you feel? Anxious, worried or scared?
You might also think, “I hate that group. They’re so pathetic. Laughing at something ridiculous I bet, but the noise is so annoying. I am going to tell them to shut up.” These thoughts might make you feel angry, mad or something similar.
But what would happen if you thought, “I wonder what is funny? I’m going to go and find out” If you had this thought you might feel curious, intrigued and maybe even a little energised, enjoying being around others who are in a good mood.
Melanie has been an absolute godsend for our family. My daughter has been diagnosed on the autistic spectrum and the bond that Melanie built with her was exceptional. This bond of trust combined with Melanie’s creative and caring therapy meant that my daughter (and indeed our family) was able to overcome various issues which had previously felt overwhelming. I have also relied on Melanie’s expert guidance to help me deal with my son’s anxiety. As a mother, besides being a therapist, Melanie really gets to the heart of the issues and provides practical, honest and truly effective advice. I can’t recommend Melanie enough and would like to thank her for all her she has done in her work with my family.KS