When you start off in your degree program, you take the requisite theories course on all the different ways many smart (and even some not so smart) people have tried to conceptualize the brain and the ways we live our lives.

You start by learning (or most likely re-learning) about the crazy Austrians. You know, the shrinks who do cocaine and chat with you for 45 years?

Once that party is over and you realize that Freud was completely insane, but also a revolutionary (as most insane people are), you move on and eventually find your theoretical place in the world.

My place?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is where it’s at, yo.

It’s my primary theoretical orientation. I use a lot of theoretical techniques from other therapies or theories like Motivational Interviewing and Solution Focused Therapy, but I totally subscribe to how CBT views the way we all process our life experience.

So let’s break it down, shall we?

Cognitive – Your thoughts

Behaviors – Your actions

Emotions – How you feel about your thoughts and/or behaviors.

So, let’s say there’s something that happens to you. That something sucks.

The love of your life falls into the ocean while you innocently float on a sheet of ice waiting for rescue. You’re young, you have curves and red hair, you are packing a giant blue diamond in your pocket that your douchebag of an ex-fiance gave you (OK, that is not so terrible).

You might have several thoughts.

  • I’ve lost Leo. I should throw myself into the water.
  • I’m really cold, I’ll probably die. My life will be terrible.
  • Maybe I’ll find another poor boy who can sketch me naked.
  • If I survive, I will make something of my life.
  • I can’t believe how lucky I am to be alive.

These thoughts would likely trigger some emotions.

  • Depression
  • Hopelessness
  • Hope
  • Determination
  • Gratefulness

Likely, these emotions and thoughts might create some behaviors.

  • Throwing oneself into the ocean and down to the bottom.
  • Missing the rescue boat.
  • Sticking it out. Getting on that damn boat.
  • Getting married to another great guy. Having kids.
  • Doing what one can to make the most of the life they have.

So that’s your review of CBT. A very short and brief overview. I’ll probably revisit some other time with something more in-depth for you folks.


P.S. I did not like Titanic. I just want everyone to know.

Author: Jennifer Bingaman Mazur

I like writing about what I think about what I think. I also like writing about what other people think and what I think about that. Yes? Yes.

9 thoughts on “CBT?”

  1. Although you did not like Titanic, you sure can create a good analogy using the plot! My 13-year-old self loved Titanic for some reason – but when I watched part of it the other day, I thought it was super lame in a number of ways (particularly the “I’m on top of the world” scene!).

    1. Thank you! Yes, as a young kid I remember thinking to myself, “Oh geez, this is really drawn out!”

      I understand your love of Titanic though, I was very much in the minority.

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