In the cognitive treatment model, we see how powerful our thoughts are in driving our emotions.
Imagine two moms. Both had to stop breastfeeding. One thinks, "I'm so glad for more time to rest and that my husband can help with feedings now." The other thinks, "I'm a complete failure and can't even continue this simple task."
You can see how different their emotional states will be. The first will more likely feel relief, decrease in anxiety, and overall content. The second one will most likely feel inadequate, inferior to other moms, worthless, depressed, etc.
The cognitive model actually has a lot of depth and goes way beyond "positive thinking." When we're struggling in the depths of depression and anxiety, it is not helpful to be told, "just think positively." If we could just turn the switch on like that and stop negative thinking on our own, we would.
With TEAM-CBT, we show you HOW to do this at a gut level. There are also over 50 techniques to shift your thinking and deep rooted beliefs, creating a real shift in your brain and most importantly, improves how you feel.
I highly recommend completing the motivational treatment model first before moving onto the cognitive model. It makes it even more effective.
❤️ Here's how you can apply some cognitive techniques today:
1) Complete the exercises in the motivational model.
2) Look at all of your negative thoughts and rate how true you believe each are from 0-100, with 100 being completely true.
- Turn questions into statements to make the techniques more effective (e.g., Why am I so stupid? becomes "I am so stupid").
- Turn feeling statements into thoughts, because feelings are always true, but thoughts can be challenged effectively (e.g., I'm frustrated about motherhood becomes "Motherhood should be easier than this.")
3) Choose one thought in your list to begin to work on.
4) Go through one technique at a time to begin to challenge the thought.
5) It's always a good idea to start with the Identify the Distortions technique. Get a printable sheet that walks you through the 10 cognitive distortions most commonly seen in women with postpartum anxiety and depression. All of our negative thoughts often have almost all 10 distortions. Remember to pick up a pen and paper. The power is in the writing.
6) Straightforward technique: replace the negative thought with a positive thought you believe in 100% after identifying all the cognitive distortions in that thought. Re-rate your belief in the negative thought after engaging in this technique to see if it had power in decreasing your belief. Move on to the next technique if not.
7) Double-Standard Method: Imagine a dear friend is going through the exact same struggle you're going through right now. The unique thing about this friend is they are like you in every single way, with all your strengths, limitations, and experiences. Write back to your negative thought with what you'd say to your friend. Channel your compassion to provide honest feedback to your friend. Your feedback has to feel 100% true and has some power in crushing the negative thought. Re-rate the negative thought to see if it decreased in truth at all.
There are many more techniques, and I'm just scraping the surface here. I'll leave you with these for now to not overwhelm you. Contact me with any questions!
Hi, I'm Thai-An. I'm a postpartum therapist and mother who is passionate about helping pregnant and postpartum parents overcome depression and anxiety so they can feel like themselves again and enjoy life with their baby and family. After overcoming my own battle with postpartum depression and anxiety, I opened Lasting Change Therapy, LLC in South Oklahoma City to dedicate my counseling practice to helping families have postpartum recovery and wellness, and I truly love it!