Dealing with the Past
anonymous Asks ...
Can cognitive behavioral therapy teach me some tricks so that I can turn off my bad memories that plague me when I lay awake at night. I have a hard time with insomnia and then also I have a hard time with thinking about a lot of my regrets and humiliations and bad memories when I am trying to fall asleep and this doesn’t help me get to sleep any easier. I know that just thinking about all this bad stuff is not good for me and makes me feel depressed but I cannot seem to help it once I get started every night when I have nothing else to think about.
Rev. Christopher Smith Says ...
Cognitive behavioral therapy is not about tricks, rather it is a framework and approach that shapes the work of a therapist as well as the person in therapy. When you engage in cognitive behavioral therapy, there will be techniques that you will learn. These will require work on your part and are not a magical solution that generates a change without work (although in some cases, cognitive behavioral techniques can have a significant initial impact). The basic idea is that this approach addresses a blend of what you think with your actions. It uses this blend in the exercises and techniques that you will learn and practice.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the approaches that can help you address issues from the past that are continuing to have an influence on your present day life. There are a number of techniques that can be suggested around the issue of insomnia and other sleep problems. After exploring some f your history, including what you have already tried, your therapist can suggest what might be helpful. You may have to try serval things before you find what will work best for you.
Additionally, a cognitive behavioral therapist will be able to work with you on the depression that you are experiencing. The thapist may suggest ways to address the issues from the past when they come up; the therapist may suggest ways to address the negative temotions themselves; the therapist may suggest ways to foster more positive emotions; the therapist may suggest ways to foster a better sense of self esteem and self worth; the therapist may suggest some combination of these ways.
Whether you seek out a therapist that specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy or some other therapeutic orientation, know that help is available for these kinds of situations. It is possible to find wholeness and peace and a good therapist can help you on this journey.