At Beartooth Men’s Rehab, we utilize a wide variety of different therapeutic methods to help the young men in our charge overcome their past traumas and shortcomings, so that they can become the best possible versions of themselves. Oftentimes, there is true and lasting mental health issues that are plaguing the minds of these young men. One of the most valuable methods of therapy that we utilize at our ranch is cognitive behavioral therapy (or CBT).
Identifying Cognitive Errors
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy that is designed around the base perceptions that individuals have about themselves and their situation around them. As such, the key to CBT is for patients to identify their harmful thought patterns, so that they can engage in constructive thinking that helps them genuinely change their behavior. This is easier said than done. There are several examples of destructive types of thinking, all of which are irrational, to some degree, that CBT helps to identify and change:
- Self-Referencing: This occurs when an individual believes that everyone around them is focusing on them in a negative way, especially paying attention to their shortcomings.
- Overgeneralization: This is when people take one negative factor and project it onto their entire lives, such as believing that if somebody was mad at them one time, that they must always be mad at them after that
- Oversimplification: Oversimplifying is most often done by viewing a situation through a binary point of view, where things can only be very good or very terrible. This makes individuals project negative emotions onto everyone around them.
- Responsibility Overloading: When people worry too much about things beyond their control, it begins to wear on them to where they believe that they are responsible for a variety of bad and destructive things in other people’s lives.
- Selective Abstraction: This is a mode of thinking where people hyper-focus on their failures. Selective abstraction leads to major self esteem issues, along with other types of cognitive errors.
Techniques of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
At Beartooth, our therapists and counselors use CBT to teach our young men a variety of techniques to help them recognize negative thoughts, and actively challenge those thoughts. Here are some of the techniques we teach in CBT on a regular basis:
- Mindfulness meditation to focus on one’s thoughts.
- Journaling to help organize thoughts and emotions throughout the day.
- Routinely challenging perceptions about how one views oneself.
- Mental and breathing exercises to calm nerves and anxiety.
- Healthy habits and life skills that help build a lasting routine.