Cognitive Behavioral therapy is a talking therapy where the patient talks to a specialist to manage the problem and reduce the symptoms. It considers a person’s thoughts and feelings are related to physical actions, and that might have caused the problem. It helps the person to understand the problem and assist the person in solving or controlling the problem or behaviour. Dr Aaron T. Beck introduced CBT in the 1960s while he was experimenting with depression using psychoanalytic concepts. During the experiments, he found depression patient had “automatic thoughts” and he began identifying and evaluating the automatic thoughts. The results showed the patient felt better without these thoughts and Cognitive Behavior therapy was introduced (“History of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy,” 2018). CBT emphasises on the relationship between the therapist and the client. It requires cooperation from the client and completes the tasks that are assigned to him or her. It helps the client to identify, understand and respond to the problem. It is goal oriented and problem-focused due to which it is helpful for the client. CBT is properly structured and it takes less time compared to other talking therapies that are lengthy and require many weeks. It focuses on changing behaviour and thoughts (Key, Rowa, Bieling, McCabe, & Pawluk, 2017).
However, it has limitations such as it focuses on individuals and does not take into account the environment, family, and friends, which might negatively influence the person and stimulate the condition. Taking into account the environment and people around the person is important to deal with issues such as anxiety, depression, phobias, sleep problems, OCD because they might have influence in causing the problem or at least in progress of the problem (Mancebo, Eisen, Sibrava, Dyck, & Rasmussen, 2011). For instance, if a person lives with people who are negative and do not help each other grow, it might cause problems. However, CBT does not take into account this. The role of Therapist in CBT is not to force the client to change and replace a behaviour. The role is to identify the problems and strengths of the clients and using them to help the client. In these therapies, the client is important and must cooperate helping the therapist and actively participating in the process. The therapist provides assignments, and the client must complete the assignment (Olatunji, Davis, Powers, & Smits, 2013). It is a collaborative relationship between therapist and the client. The therapist provides tools and knowledge and the client actively participate in improving their condition. Certain terminologies are important for CBT such as automatic thoughts (thoughts due to a certain stimulus i.e. I will fail), cognitive errors (misconceptions i.e. driving lead to accident), cognitive restructuring (altering the thought patterns i.e. driving is not always dangerous) and cognitive structure (executive processor that changes thinking patterns) (Rothbaum, Meadows, Resick, & Foy, 2000).
- I over think and take things too seriously which leaves no time for other activities that are important. I want to change my over thinking and OCD to be able to do what is important to me. I want to be able to participate and be productive as my friends are and do not want to over think simple and small things. I want to stop thinking about things that are unimportant.
- As I am an over-thinker, I am unable to complete work. I take perspectives and analyse a thing from taking into account various point of views and end up spending all time at a work that is incomplete. I want to change this compulsion and over thinking. I want to be able to complete a task in a reasonable amount of time.
- My OCD is not severe, it is not even moderate, but it is mild. I perform well, but it takes more time than required. I take more time than required to complete a task.
- I would like to use cognitive unravelling of the distortion, Cognitive restructuring, and exposure and response prevention. I want to use these three techniques because it will help me understand the problem, what causes it and how often it is caused. The second technique will help me to understand and change the problematic thoughts. If I know the reasons, I will be able to find solutions try to focus on the opposite. For instance, if I know something triggers it, I will try to avoid it and try to do the opposite. Lastly, the Exposure and Response Prevention will help me understand and then try to refrain from the behaviour. I can write about the problem and the refraining and try to figure out the impacts of the control on my OCD (Mancebo et al., 2011).
- I will start writing a journal to understand when and why the OCD occurs and how it impacts. I will discuss this with a therapist and will try to follow her instructions. I will notice the triggers and the time when it is severe. I will try to refrain myself from overthinking whenever it happens. I will keep myself busy working to avoid the gratification and getting into overthinking. I will start refraining myself from overthinking for a period initially and increase the time five minutes every day. This practice will help me to stop wasting time overthinking a problem.
- As I will be writing a journal to notice the triggers and trying to control the obsessive behaviour timing myself and increasing the timing every day by 5 minutes, I will evaluate the effectiveness. I will be able to identify the triggers and causes so I avoid the things that might be a trigger. I will assess the effectiveness of refraining. If refraining myself from over thinking helps, I will continue to refrain myself and stay away from gratifications. However, if keeping myself busy at other work is effective, I will keep myself busy to avoid overthinking. Hence, I am aiming at avoiding overthinking, and the evaluation of the two techniques will help me understand what works for me the best. My ultimate goal to stop overthinking and reduce it to the normal levels and the evaluation will help me achieve it.
- I could start exercise or meditation to improve attention and control the thoughts. It might be helpful to control the overthinking that interferes with my work. The meditation works as therapy and is considered useful which is why it will help to improve my condition. As I have obsessive thoughts, it will be a useful way to control the thoughts and enhance mindfulness.
- I have not done meditation before, but many people have suggested it. In meditation, a person focuses on one thing and tries to avoid all other thoughts that might interfere with the calming process. It helps in improving the mindfulness and attention. I can start it with the help of online meditation programs that are free and help people to do the meditation in the morning or anytime during the day or night. I will use the meditation in the morning to control my thoughts for the whole day and increase mindfulness. I can also use them to calm my thoughts when I feel the urge to overthink.
- There are mobile applications such as Live OCD free, which has CBT exercises to assist the client. It also helps children and adults. The children programs are game-like exercises that assist children. Another program is OCD Manager who assists the people with OCD. These mobile applications can be downloaded to helping the patients with OCD (Singer, 2011).
History of Cognitive Behavio Therapy. (2018). Retrieved from https://beckinstitute.org/about-beck/our-history/history-of-cognitive-therapy/
Key, B. L., Rowa, K., Bieling, P., McCabe, R., & Pawluk, E. J. (2017). Mindfulness‐based cognitive therapy as an augmentation treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 24(5), 1109–1120.
Mancebo, M. C., Eisen, J. L., Sibrava, N. J., Dyck, I. R., & Rasmussen, S. A. (2011). Patient utilization of cognitive-behavioral therapy for OCD. Behavior Therapy, 42(3), 399–412.
Olatunji, B. O., Davis, M. L., Powers, M. B., & Smits, J. A. (2013). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder: A meta-analysis of treatment outcome and moderators. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 47(1), 33–41.
Rothbaum, B. O., Meadows, E. A., Resick, P., & Foy, D. W. (2000). Cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Singer, J. (2011, September). Using Technology to Treat OCD…A Good Idea or Not? – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) & Anxiety Disorder Attacks, Symptoms & Treatment. Retrieved from https://www.mentalhelp.net/blogs/using-technology-to-treat-ocd-a-good-idea-or-not/