Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a frequently used treatment modality in individual
counseling.  It's a means often employed to help people to achieve recovery from clinical
depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, trauma, and many other life
challenges.  The theory behind it is deceptively simple.  Our thoughts and beliefs
influence our moods, and our moods influence our choices.  The conditions perpetuate
from this process, but recovery can also blossom from it if we recognize, assess, and
take back control over the patterns of our thoughts and beliefs that color our
perspectives.  The mind being as complicated as it is, how this plays out in each person's
life can be very unique.  When your thoughts are stuck in a rut that causes suffering, it
presents a puzzle to be solved and a combination to unlock in order to achieve relief.  
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy provides us with the tools to do just that.

When it comes to depression, for example, you might say that the condition feeds itself,
almost as though it's a living thing.  Depressed people often sleep way too much or
don't get hardly any sleep at all, either of which can exacerbate depression.  People who
are depressed often lose their appetite and start eating very little, or they go start
craving things like sweets, junk food, pastas, breads, and eat these things to excess.  
They're more likely to isolate to their home, to exercise less, and to gravitate toward
using drugs or alcohol in an effort to cope.  The depression thrives from these things.  
But perhaps more than anything else, the depression feeds itself with thoughts.  Hurtful,
self-defeating thoughts that repeat, and repeat, and repeat, and yet no matter how
many times they run through the cycle, they don't seem to lose any steam or any of the
power behind the punch.  Thoughts like what we 'should' be or 'should' have done,
thoughts that provoke guilt for anything that we've done in our lifetimes that we're not
proud of, or thoughts that eliminate gray area in life situations and assume the absolute
worst-case scenario.  

The language between our ears is a very powerful force.  You could say that depression,
if it was a living thing, understands that fact completely and masterfully uses it to carry
and anchor people to the darkest of depths.  Thankfully, wonderfully, we can use that
same process to take control back.  We can use the same process to 'starve out' the
depression, and change the direction that our thoughts and beliefs carry us.  So it is
with anxiety, and panic, and self-esteem issues.  So it is with unhealthy habits, anger
problems, and phobias.  When our thoughts are stuck in a rut that causes suffering, it
presents a puzzle to be solved and a combination to unlock in order to achieve significant
and lasting relief.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy provides us with the tools and strategies
to do just that.  There are many books and websites that are devoted to cognitive
behavioral theory and practice, and how it can apply to different kinds of problems.  

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy was the primary therapeutic orientation (type of counseling)
that I learned when I went through my schooling to become a counselor.  It has brought
benefit and relief to a great many people and may be just as helpful to you.  Please call
me if you have any questions about it, so we can determine whether this may be part of
your plan for recovery and your ticket to relief and peace of mind.
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Journeys Mental Health, LLC
Counseling and Hypnotherapy
Keith Young, LCPC, CH
175 Union Street, Suite C
Bangor, Maine 04401
Phone:  (207) 951-7811
Fax:  1 (888) 972-1920