My psychology class recently worked on the topic of prejudice. Many of you may have seen the “brown eyes/blue eyes” experience, started by a teacher in the 1970s.
We tend to think of prejudice as being something big. Something about pushing away others. But an article caught my eye and made me think about it in a different way – prejudice as a result of focusing too much on the ingroup versus the outgroup.
I’m a member of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies, and am hoping to eventually get accredited by them. So, what is CBT? According to the BABCP, CBT is a talking therapy. It has been proven to help treat a wide range of emotional and physical health conditions in adults, young people and children. CBT looks at how we think about a situation and how this affects the way we act. In turn our actions can affect how we think and feel. The therapist and client work together in changing the client’s behaviours, or their thinking patterns, or both of these.
CBT has been proven to help dramatically with depression, and I’ve used it in my own work with anxiety. There are a variety of other mental illnesses that respond well to CBT. So how does it work? CBT can be offered in individual sessions with a therapist or as part of a group. The number of CBT sessions you need depends on the difficulty you need help with. Often this will be between five and 20 weekly sessions lasting between 30 and 60 minutes each. CBT is mainly concerned with how you think and act now, instead of looking at and getting help with difficulties in your past.
You and your therapist will discuss your specific difficulties and set goals for you to achieve. CBT is not a quick fix. It involves hard work during and between sessions. Your therapist will not tell you what to do. Instead they will help you decide what difficulties you want to work on in order to help you improve your situation. Your therapist will be able to advise you on how to continue using CBT techniques in your daily life after your treatment ends.
Risks and change are scary – but so necessary to move forward in life. Some of the greatest moments I’ve had were due to taking risks. I have never regretted a single one, even those that were painful at the time.