How To Stop Intrusive Thoughts: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Thought Replacement and Visual Substitution

Friday, March 07, 2014 by Meg   •   Filed under Treatment Techniques

Thought replacement is one of the most widely-used techniques in cognitive behavioral treatment. It is also one of the most self-explanatory techniques under the cognitive behavioral umbrella. What you do is...replace your thoughts. 

This is often easier said than done, especially when you have a set of scary thought patterns or negative self talk cycles that have become persistent over time. People who experience the same thoughts over and over again have a more difficult time with replacement, simply because the thoughts tend to become a part of their daily experience. Thought replacement aims to change that by encouraging a different response when the automatic pattern begins. 

Let's check out an example....  continue reading

Do You Know The Difference Between Guilt, Shame and Regret? Here's One Way To Reduce All Three

Monday, March 03, 2014 by Meg   •   Filed under Psychology of Motherhood

 

Guilt, shame and regret are similar emotional experiences. However, there are subtle differences that matter for our mental health. While guilt and regret follow a similar path towards making us feel shitty, we may be even more receptive to shame in our current overly connected state.

Shame = just one added bonus of Pinterest...  continue reading

Playing Dead: A Physical Response to Stress Besides Fight or Flight

Monday, February 24, 2014 by Meg   •   Filed under Anxiety

I occasionally come across cases of misdiagnosis due to a misunderstanding of anxiety responses. Some are convinced that they have a seizure disorder, others believe they have a nerve issue that causes paralysis.

But, anxiety is not all about running from a tiger or beating the crap out of an alligator. Humans have another trick up their collective sleeve: the freeze response. This is caused when something tells the brain that the threat is too big to run from or fight off, essentially that there is no hope except to play dead.  ...  continue reading

The Internet Mistake You Don't Know You're Making (and why it might cause social anxiety)

Friday, February 21, 2014 by Meg   •   Filed under Anxiety

Social anxiety, or social phobia, involves intense fears related to social events, like meeting new people or giving speeches. While most people have some nervousness in new social situations, those with social phobia may experience panic attacks or anxiety so intense that they will avoid the situation entirely. 

It's the difference between feeling butterflies in your stomach when going on a first date and calling to cancel said date because you spent the last three hours throwing up just thinking about it....  continue reading

How To Cope With Intrusive Thoughts: Introduction to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and the Cost Benefit Analysis

Monday, February 17, 2014 by Meg   •   Filed under Treatment Techniques

"I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and, gosh-darn it, people like me."

Stuart Smally, from the old Saturday Night Live skits may be the poster child for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): the gold standard in treatment for numerous issues including anxiety, depression, intrusive thoughts, and low self-esteem, just to name a few. The premise behind cognitive behavioral therapy is that by altering your thought patterns, you can change how your body responds, essentially short-circuiting undesired physical symptoms such as the fight or flight response....  continue reading

A Bitter Pill To Swallow: The Link Between Taste and Emotion

Friday, February 14, 2014 by Meg   •   Filed under General

What does jealousy taste like? I'd guess like shit.

My guess would be wrong, much to the relief of jealous people everywhere. 

The sweetness of love, the bitterness of hatred, we've all heard the phrases. Through the years, many metaphors have been introduced which link taste sensation to emotional state. 

"He's so sweet it makes me want to gag." (That's what she said.)

So, is there scientific basis for this phenomenon? Researchers say, "Yes."...  continue reading