What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Breaking it Down with Three Potent Approaches

Skiers are often concerned about brain injuries from sports. However, perhaps we should turn our minds toward Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is the study and understanding of thoughts. It is the working through of the mind to heal people both physically and mentally. Studies have probed scientists for hundreds of years, but the knowledge of the mind has never been better than what it is today. Behavioral therapists have the whole of scientific brain science to explore paths, strategies, and methods for healing people.

The study and therapy of the mind is a wonderful thing, but what does it mean in practice? How can cognitive therapy help and what can patients expect to see when they make an intentional effort to explore their mind through therapy?

Below is an exploration of three strategies used in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The list begins with one method that is very common and the methods move closer to one that is used much later in the process. Not all cognitive behavioral therapists use the same methods, and they will always dictate a plan of approach individualized to the patient. The below methods will look at how behavioral therapy progresses over time and how it is applied in practice.

Thought Records, the Why and the Argument

One common approach is called a thought journal or record. The concept has patients list out a thought that occurred after an event. The thought could be “I hated my vacation.” Well, why would a person hate their vacation? The purpose of a thought record is to distill the logic of a feeling and break it down. For example, the patient could support or argue against the thought by building up evidence for or against it. The “for” argument could include something such as, it was hot, the trains stopped working, it was too much money, etc.

It is the argument against that which holds the secret. My boyfriend went with me. I got to go to a new place. I got to talk about it at school. I am planning to go again. These are positive and affirmative statements that contradict and argue against the feeling. In essence, the thoughts against the argument diminish the feeling.

Avoidance Tasks and Tackling

A therapist would often want a patient to tackle things they do not like directly. This ties into avoidance therapy. It is the basic concept that the only way to get over a spider is to befriend one (this is a simplified version of the concept, but it applies).

The approach is built on a hierarchy. If a person has fear of crowds, they can list their fears as they are broken down. At the top of the list, a person may put Disney World. At the bottom, they put an elevator or a restaurant. The idea is to both break down the feelings and to reflect on what is causing them. Once these issues are segregated and not grouped into one large fear, a person can logically tackle them.

Imagery Based Exposure Methods, Maybe Like the Movies

Books and movies love to interpret an approach usually called imagery based exposure. It usually encompasses a person closing their eyes while they are told to think of a certain place and time. The therapist will add details- the stiff air- the sound of footsteps- the glare of the light when the window opens. The culmination of these details results in the person screaming, crying, and running from the room in a storm. It is useful in exercising the brain after a brain injury.

All of this can occur in therapy, but rarely does, due to the movies being a somewhat ungrounded version of reality. But, the essence is similar. In therapy, imagery based exposure is only slightly like the movies. It basically means applying an image for an event and exposing the person to the event through detailed imagery.

The above approach can also be used for more recent events, such as an outburst at work in the last week. Consequently, the reaction applied in the imagery based exposure can be applied to a more taxing event in history. It is one of the leading approaches for tackling anxiety and depression that stems from a historical event in one’s past.

The method is useful because it allows patients to confront the why of their feelings, and acts as a bridge to the actual dissection of a tragic past event. The rumination of such past events can be crippling, or the opposite- the avoidance of it. Regardless, it tackles the issue through imagery impressing. These methods are rich in their effectiveness and wonder. They may be an answer to a healthier mind.

Painless Travel Tips

Sometimes the vicissitudes of modern travel can make you feel powerless. You can take control of your travel experience by preparing well ahead of time and learning some simple tricks. Read this article to learn ways you can make your travel dollar stretch further and reach your intended destination with less stress along the way.

If you are traveling overseas, always have local currency in a variety of denominations. It is much easier to be ripped off by a taxi driver or shopkeeper if the smallest bill in your wallet represents a week’s or even month’s profit. Small change can sometimes be difficult to come by, so hang onto your coins when you get them.

When planning a trip, don’t count on a single booking website to show you the lowest fares. Compare prices across a variety of sites, including meta-searchers if you can find them. Also check with the airline and hotel directly, as they may actually be able to offer you a better rate than the website.

Before embarking on an overseas vacation, check what documentation is necessary for travel to your destination. Different country pairs require different documentation, including visas. Visa requirements will also differ based on how long you plan to remain in that country. In many cases, if you travel without a visa you are attempting to enter that country illegally.

A lot of hotels offer discounted rates to locals, especially during the off-season. If you’re going somewhere where you have family or friends, you should have them ask about a local discount. If there is one, you can have them book the hotel for you and save yourself some money!

When traveling and sleeping in hotels, considering bringing along a small portable fan. This will allow you to create white noise, should you have a noisy neighbor. It can also help circulate the air in a stuffy room without needing to chill the room to uncomfortable levels using the air conditioner.

If you are traveling by airplane, be sure to bring along your own headphones. Most in-flight entertainment systems today require that you wear headphones. You may be able to buy them in-flight, but it will be at a greatly inflated cost. Headphones are also a great way to create ‘white noise’ to block out your neighbors and/or the plane noise.

When you go on a trip, make sure to keep a detailed travel journal. Write down where you went, what you did, and how you felt about it. This will allow you to reference back to your previous experiences if you plan a new trip to the same destination. This way you can plan a trip including the best parts of your previous trips while also adding new experiences.

Pre-book your airport parking space in advance. Parking reservations made the day you plan to leave will be costly. If you live near the airport, find out if taking a cab is cheaper than airport parking.

When you visit one of America’s National Parks, you should go to the Visitor’s Center upon arriving. You will find the newest information concerning the park. Park rangers will share with you any safety hazards, weather concerns, wildlife notices or closures. Visiting the Visitor’s Center will assure you have a more enjoyable visit.

It is important to stick to a food budget while traveling. Many people spend way too much money on food because it can be exciting to try things that you’ve never had before. If you have an idea of what you want to spend on a meal before you go into the restaurant, you are more likely to stay within your means.

Always be prepared to clean up spills and messes as you travel. Carry some general items such as plastic bags, travel wipes and even travel size cleaners. Trying to locate these types of things on the spot can be difficult and add needless momentary stress. Unpack these to a specific location in your hotel so everyone knows where to turn.

Adjust your schedule to your destinations timezone a day or two before leaving. If you will be traveling to a location where morning is three hours earlier than you are used to, set your alarm to start the routine early. Get to bed earlier to match the timezone as well and you can acclimate your body to the ritual.

When you are getting ready to go away from home and travel the world, do not forget to notify your financial institutions. To avoid future hassle with your cash-flow in a foreign land you should notify any bank or credit card company you do business with. Nothing is worse than having no money in the middle of nowhere.

When traveling, take along a pillow and a small blanket. No matter your mode of transportation, these items make things more pleasant. While airlines often provide pillows, supplies can be limited. If you have your own, there’s no worry about cleanliness.

Join the loyalty program at the hotel you are staying at. Even if you are only staying that one time, it will provide you with added amenities that you would likely be charged for otherwise. Read the fine print when signing up for these because there may be a hidden charge in some cases.

If you are going to use a travel agent when making reservation, make sure you find one who works with your wants and needs. Many travel agents are just trying to make the most commission so they may not pick the best travel option for you. Do some research online to make sure they have good ratings.

Keep your bags on unupholstered furniture to prevent any kind of bed bug infestation. Check the room thoroughly to see if there are any but if you are feeling at all unsure, keep the baggage up. That is the way that the bed bugs are going to hitch a ride back to your home and begin their infestation there.

The well-prepared traveler is one who does his or her research. Great bargains, faster trips, and hassle-free travel are all waiting for you. All it takes to find them is a little self-education. Once you start learning how to travel wisely, you can get more enjoyment and satisfaction out of your trips.

Saving Money When Travelling Abroad

When you travel to another country it is important for you to have a valid passport. You will not be able to get into the country if you do not have one. The tips below will help guide you toward getting a valid passport so that you can travel anywhere you choose.

When traveling, pack plenty of snacks and munch on them throughout the day. Snacks that keep you fuller longer are best. Some good ideas are almonds, dried fruit, cashews, whole wheat crackers, and beef jerky. When you pack snacks that fill you up, you spend less money on meals. Additionally, it sustains your energy so you can do more sight-seeing during the day.

When traveling, if you have to use a public computer for anything, whether it’s to check your email, your Facebook, or your bank account, make sure you log out! Don’t just close the browser like you might do on your personal computer, make sure you click the log out button. This will prevent anyone else from accessing your data.

When taking a road trip to an unfamiliar area, be sure that your car is serviced and you have a full tank of gas. The last thing you need is to break down, unaware of where the nearest gas station is. Keep an empty gas can in the trunk of your car in the event that you run out of gas. You will be able to make your way to the nearest service station and fill up the can, rather than calling someone out to do that for you.

Consider traveling to small towns if you are on a budget. Small towns have their own unique charm and attractions. You can usually find historical districts and picturesque scenery in town. Accommodations are usually very affordable. Because the town is not a tourist attraction, this is a good option for a quiet getaway.

Take along at least one dressy outfit with you when you travel. The more formal clothes are, they harder they are to pack and care for. Nevertheless, making the effort to bring one set of classy duds prepares you to take advantage of unplanned opportunities that may arise on your trip. You don’t want to miss out on a wonderful dinner invitation because you have nothing to wear but shorts!

Buy a kit of toiletries and set them aside exclusively for travel. If you travel often, packing all your toiletries can be a pain. It is not at all difficult to forget something as simple as a toothbrush or a stick of deodorant. Save time by purchasing a set of these things that you keep on hand, just for taking with you on trips.

When you travel to visit friends or family, be a courteous guest and do not assume they will make all your sightseeing plans for you. Many people assume they are there to be entertained, which is of course an incorrect assumption and generates bad feeling. Instead, do your homework ahead of time, let your hosts know what you’re planning to do, invite but don’t oblige them to accompany you, and spend your time together in good will, knowing you are being a gracious guest.

It’s always time well spent to insure you have critical items with you on your trip. Make a list and check it twice! If the item that you have forgotten in your irreplaceable medicine or perhaps some critical piece of electronics, however, you’re in trouble! Plan ahead to insure this doesn’t happen to you!

During the winter, in particular, it is smart to keep a couple of blankets, some boots, some matches and a large candle, in the trunk of your vehicle. These could come in very handy if you happen to skid off the road and find yourself lodged in a snow bank with no chance of immediate rescue.

To save money when booking flights, see if you can fly to or from an alternate airport. Airlines often charge much less for different routes, so check out all your options to see which one is the cheapest. Even if you have to rent a car, it could still be cheaper to fly into a different airport.

If you need to travel across the country but are on a limited budget, consider traveling by bus. In the past, bus travel was viewed somewhat unfavorably, but today major players like Greyhound, have made major improvements to attract the growing number of travelers who can’t afford plane tickets. Today bus lines are a more civil experience. Cleaner, newer buses are the norm and most stations offer free wireless internet access and sundries.

While traveling, it is important to keep your home safe while you are away and it will be empty. To reduce the chances of someone thinking your house is empty and easy pickings, you should have a trusted person tend the house. That person can get newspapers, mail and even move the cars around that may be in the driveway. Most importantly, they will mask that the house is empty.

If you and a group of family or friends are traveling by car, bring a walkie talkie wherever you go. Cell phones need to have a cell tower in order to work properly. Walkie talkies only need each other, making them more beneficial than the phones when you are traveling in rural areas that might not have cell phone coverage.

If you use the tips that have been provided you should be able to get a valid passport in a very short amount of time. It is important to keep the passport in a safe place at all times so that you know where it is when you need it.