Most of us think of cognitive therapy as a way of understanding and relieving depression, anxiety, and whatever else we use it for by focusing on the thoughts that underlie the disorders.
That is all true.
Yet, for me at least, cognitive therapy is about approaching the processing system that is the human mind. Whether it’s depression, joy, psychosis, impulsivity, concentration, love, pain, and all the rest, (and there’s a whole lot more!) the mind takes in information, processes it, and then uses those processes to guide how it navigates its existence. Cognitive therapy seeks to alter cognitive processes by illuminating them and by upgrading them.
The end result is a better life.
While some mistakenly claim that cognitive therapy is superficial, it isn’t at all. It’s just that we cognitive therapists have found that not every single cognitive process needs to be illuminated and upgraded to make things better. Generally speaking, chronicity and severity are the best guides to how much we need on the table.
More on that in the next post.