How does therapy *actually* work?

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Anonymous #1
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How does talking about your thought patterns cause any change?
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Marsharko
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If you want to take the psychological route, talking therapies work by challenging negative views of yourself, of the world, and of your future.

Really depends on what condition you may be suffering from - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for a schizophreniac might be different for someone who is depressed.

But essentially you (as you work with the therapist) are looking to understand these maladaptive thought patterns and change them.
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nathan1403
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Because a therapist can help you challenge your current thought patterns and replace them with more adaptive ones
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Little Popcorns
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Helps you change your way of thinking and perhaps lifestyle
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FakeNewsEditor
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It helps you identify unhealthy, irrational thoughts and behaviours and hopefully helps you change them. My previous therapist told me a lot of her patients don't really even know what's wrong with them so the first step, identifying what's really wrong with you, is just as important as taking steps to change.

There are many different kinds of therapies as mentioned above. CBT is the most common I think but there are quite a few more depending on what you're suffering from.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Marsharko)
If you want to take the psychological route, talking therapies work by challenging negative views of yourself, of the world, and of your future.

Really depends on what condition you may be suffering from - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for a schizophreniac might be different for someone who is depressed.

But essentially you (as you work with the therapist) are looking to understand these maladaptive thought patterns and change them.
(Original post by nathan1403)
Because a therapist can help you challenge your current thought patterns and replace them with more adaptive ones
(Original post by Little Popcorns)
Helps you change your way of thinking and perhaps lifestyle
(Original post by FakeNewsEditor)
It helps you identify unhealthy, irrational thoughts and behaviours and hopefully helps you change them. My previous therapist told me a lot of her patients don't really even know what's wrong with them so the first step, identifying what's really wrong with you, is just as important as taking steps to change.

There are many different kinds of therapies as mentioned above. CBT is the most common I think but there are quite a few more depending on what you're suffering from.
Thank you very much for answering. I'm still curious as to how exactly they help to change your thoughts? Speaking it into existence. I recognise that some of my thought patterns are irrational and I can recognise an alternative rational way to think, how do you actively replace them?.. sorry for the trouble.
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Marsharko
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Thank you very much for answering. I'm still curious as to how exactly they help to change your thoughts? Speaking it into existence. I recognise that some of my thought patterns are irrational and I can recognise an alternative rational way to think, how do you actively replace them?.. sorry for the trouble.
Clear disclaimer - I am not a therapist, and what I'm giving is not advice. If you think you need help then seek a professional.

But to answer your question, let's say a therapist has a depressed patient. One of the reasons why they are depressed is because their irrational belief that "nobody likes them" results in self-hatred and self-loathing (and ultimately depression).

The first step would be to identify negative thoughts, such as the example above. This would be done through simple questioning.

The next step would be to encourage the patient to test and challenge the reality of these identified negative views. CBT is effective because therapists give patients an active role in their treatment - the therapist might give the patient "homework" to go outside and meet with a friend once a week, which would challenge the view that "nobody likes them". Another way to challenge these irrational thoughts is via logic - so an empirical argument can be used, where the therapist asks the patient for enough proof to support their irrationalities. In this case, the therapist might ask "What do you mean nobody likes you? What about your mother, doesn't she love you? And all of your friends clearly care about you too...".

CBT can also involve behavioural action, where the goal is to gradually decrease patient avoidance and isolation and increase their engagement in activities shown to improve mood, such as exercise or social gatherings.

Irrational thoughts aren't replaced in one, swift step. First they are identified, then broken down slowly, from which newer more rational thoughts can grow. CBT can take months or even years for a patient.

By challenging this view enough, eventually, the following maladaptive behaviours of self-hatred and other depressive symptoms disappear.


So to summarise, replacing irrational thoughts alone can be hard. It's okay to seek help. But it would be done through physically challenging these views by actively completing tasks that go against them, and then acknowledging and reinforcing the idea that you now know those previous negative thoughts must be untrue and irrational.
Last edited by Marsharko; 1 month ago
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nathan1403
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Thank you very much for answering. I'm still curious as to how exactly they help to change your thoughts? Speaking it into existence. I recognise that some of my thought patterns are irrational and I can recognise an alternative rational way to think, how do you actively replace them?.. sorry for the trouble.
It depends on what mental health condition you're dealing with. In my case (anxiety) one of the things we worked on was strategies for avoiding/dealing with panic attacks; recognising what's happening before it's too late, things I can do and think to calm myself down, etc etc. That's just an example, it really will be different for everyone, just depending on what exactly your problems are. Hope that helps
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Marsharko)
Clear disclaimer - I am not a therapist, and what I'm giving is not advice. If you think you need help then seek a professional.

But to answer your question, let's say a therapist has a depressed patient. One of the reasons why they are depressed is because their irrational belief that "nobody likes them" results in self-hatred and self-loathing (and ultimately depression).

The first step would be to identify negative thoughts, such as the example above. This would be done through simple questioning.

The next step would be to encourage the patient to test and challenge the reality of these identified negative views. CBT is effective because therapists give patients an active role in their treatment - the therapist might give the patient "homework" to go outside and meet with a friend once a week, which would challenge the view that "nobody likes them". Another way to challenge these irrational thoughts is via logic - so an empirical argument can be used, where the therapist asks the patient for enough proof to support their irrationalities. In this case, the therapist might ask "What do you mean nobody likes you? What about your mother, doesn't she love you? And all of your friends clearly care about you too...".

CBT can also involve behavioural action, where the goal is to gradually decrease patient avoidance and isolation and increase their engagement in activities shown to improve mood, such as exercise or social gatherings.

Irrational thoughts aren't replaced in one, swift step. First they are identified, then broken down slowly, from which newer more rational thoughts can grow. CBT can take months or even years for a patient.

By challenging this view enough, eventually, the following maladaptive behaviours of self-hatred and other depressive symptoms disappear.


So to summarise, replacing irrational thoughts alone can be hard. It's okay to seek help. But it would be done through physically challenging these views by actively completing tasks that go against them, and then acknowledging and reinforcing the idea that you now know those previous negative thoughts must be untrue and irrational.
Thanks
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Little Popcorns
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Thank you very much for answering. I'm still curious as to how exactly they help to change your thoughts? Speaking it into existence. I recognise that some of my thought patterns are irrational and I can recognise an alternative rational way to think, how do you actively replace them?.. sorry for the trouble.
You have to challenge them regularly and practice your new ways of thinking
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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My understanding is that there is evidence that certain therapeutic tools/practices change brain chemistry/rewires stuff in the brain. This is what I was told by my clinical psychologist, when we were about to start imagery rescripting work in schema therapy. I was very sceptical at first but having done the imagery rescripting with her, I'm inclined to think she was telling the truth (I trust no one, lol)
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Anonymous #2
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I don't think it does work.
I've had therapy in the past to help with my problems but it didn't change anything.
I have a very dark outlook on life zero self esteem, I know I'm pretty worthless with nothing to offer anyone, i self sabotage constantly, anytime I try to improve my self and it seems to be going well, that's the time I strike and mess everything up, and I KNOW all of this but it doesn't help me to change it at all. It's like I enjoy hating myself so much I can't ever bring myself to change it. It's too familiar.
So I don't believe therapy works.
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Noodlzzz
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There is some interesting research that suggests that therapy works because it's a supportive relationship that validates your emotions, thus its not the type of therapy you have (CBT, DBT etc.) but the relationship with your psychologist that makes the difference to mental health.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Noodlzzz)
There is some interesting research that suggests that therapy works because it's a supportive relationship that validates your emotions, thus its not the type of therapy you have (CBT, DBT etc.) but the relationship with your psychologist that makes the difference to mental health.
Wow interesting

(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
My understanding is that there is evidence that certain therapeutic tools/practices change brain chemistry/rewires stuff in the brain. This is what I was told by my clinical psychologist, when we were about to start imagery rescripting work in schema therapy. I was very sceptical at first but having done the imagery rescripting with her, I'm inclined to think she was telling the truth (I trust no one, lol)
Thanks
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Sabertooth
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(Original post by Noodlzzz)
There is some interesting research that suggests that therapy works because it's a supportive relationship that validates your emotions, thus its not the type of therapy you have (CBT, DBT etc.) but the relationship with your psychologist that makes the difference to mental health.
Could you give me names of articles that talk about this if you have them to hand please? I would like to learn more.
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Noodlzzz
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(Original post by Sabertooth)
Could you give me names of articles that talk about this if you have them to hand please? I would like to learn more.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3198542/ - have a read through and let me know what you think!
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