Ottawa Cognitive Therapy Techniques That Work

ottawa-cognitive-therapy-thinkJust as there are no two people alike, therapy should be fit to the preferences of the person in therapy. Ottawa cognitive therapy techniques can be mixed and matched to work, and most of all, it should be structured to fit your preferences. But you don’t have to go about finding the perfect blend of therapy alone, we’re here to help you get there. So what’s the best way to find the right kind of Ottawa cognitive therapy for you and your needs? By knowing about the different kinds of Ottawa cognitive therapy techniques that we’ve seen work time and time again, and choosing the right ones based on their strong points and what you’re most interested in achieving.

Behavioral Experimentsottawa-cognitive-therapy-thoughts

In Ottawa, cognitive therapy (maybe you’ve heard it referenced as “CBT”) behavioral experiments are specifically structured to test your inner most thoughts. For example, say you do a behavioral experiment to test out thoughts you may have about criticizing yourself after excessive eating, and think that if you do that, you’ll overeat less often. To do that, you’d approach each thought on different separate occasions, then monitor the results. Is there subsequent overeating with those thoughts in mind? Doing this type of experiment is done to give you some objective insight and feedback to move towards the better of self-criticism versus self-kindness, and which is more effective in reducing that issue. Additionally, this type of behavioral experiment can also help counteract a simple thought… think about being kind to yourself; If I’m kind to myself, it’s like giving myself a free pass to overeat and I’ll lose all self-control ” as an example. Find the best type of ottawa cognitive therapy through running experiments similar to this.

Keep Detailed Records Of Your Thoughts

Similar in nature to the behavioural experiments we dove into, having thought records are helpful because they’re designed to test the valid nature of your thoughts in question. To give you an idea, a clinical psychology student who continually gets negative feedback from their supervisor can jump to an inaccurate conclusion. They might think that their supervisor doesn’t like them, thinks they’re useless, or just isn’t good enough, when that’s not necessarily the case. Doing thought records, for instance of this student, would evaluate the evidence of their thought record for and against their thought in question. Evidence that goes against the thought would be things along the lines of comparing the positive feedback they just got from the advisor, or the responsibilities to run assessments that their supervisor is allowing them to do for other clients. If the supervisor thought the student was useless, they wouldn’t be allowing them to give feedback in the first place, right?
Taking a look at that objective type of evidence that goes for and also the evidence that goes against that though is the idea to come up with balanced out thoughts. For an idea of what a balanced thought would be: “I made an error in doing ___, but making mistakes is normal and part of life. It’s something to learn from, and I can grow from it! My supervisor can and will be impressed to see that I’ve taken it upon myself to learn form those mistakes, and incorporate the feedback that I get afterwards.”. Build a better balance of Ottawa cognitive therapy by keeping thought records. They tend to help form the beliefs on a more logical level, rather than behavioural experiments which are more helpful in changing the beliefs on that deep, gut-feel level (emotionally feeling what’s true), regardless of the objective evidence at hand.

ottawa-cognitive-therapy-listActivity Scheduling Management

Knowing how to pleasantly schedule your activities is an interestingly effective and useful Ottawa cognitive therapy technique, that’s immensely helpful particularly for depression. Give this a try: write your next week down on a paper, with each day. Start with today. For each day, schedule yourself something pleasant; something that brings you enjoy, and isn’t an unhealthy task. But, make this activity something you wouldn’t normally schedule for yourself to do. It can be something simple, like reading a chapter of a book you’ve always wanted to read, or eating your lunch somewhere other than at your desk – giving yourself time to enjoy every bite, without any rush whatsoever. There’s also another way to do this, an alternative version of the ottawa cognitive therapy technique, where you can also schedule an activity each day that gives you a stronger sense of competence, confidence, or accomplishment. The same as before, you’re going to choose a task that’s something relatively small in nature, but that will be something outside of your box a little bit. Aim for something that takes you less than ten minutes to do – that way it’s an easy task to accomplish in the amount of time in your busy schedule. If you want to take this therapy a little further, there’s also an advanced version of the technique: schedule a few pleasant activities for each day this week. One during the morning time, one in the afternoon, and one at night. Doing activities like this , produces higher levels of those positive, feel-good emotions that amp up your daily life and help make your thinking more positive, less narrow, less rigid, and more self focused.

Hierarchies Based On Situation Exposureottawa-cognitive-therapy-activity

Here’s another great way to mix up your Ottawa cognitive therapy to your liking. Making hierarchies based on situation exposure involves putting the things you would normally do on a list to avoid. For example, take a client with an eating disorder – they might make a list of foods that are forbidden, with ice cream at the beginning of the list, and full fat yogurt near the very bottom. A client that’s experiencing social anxiety issues would maybe put asking someone out at the top of their list, and asking someone for directions somewhere near the bottom of the list of forbidden things. For every single item you add to the list, no matter where it’s placed, you should be giving them a value for how distressed you’d be (or you think you’d be) if you pulled it off. Start with 0 and go to 10 to rate each item. Order the list form highest forbidden to lowest forbidden task, and put a theme of each list that reflects each specific issue you’d like to address.

What you want to try to do is have several items for each distress rate. That way, there aren’t any huge ,scary jumps you’ll have to make. The idea with this ottawa cognitive therapy technique is to work your way through the entire list, starting at lowest, and making your way to the highest. You’d probably experiment with each of the items multiple times over a few days until all the stress you feel from each situation is down to half of the rate you began with when you first tried doing it. Move to the next item on the list when you’ve gotten to that point.

ottawa-cognitive-therapy-memoryOttawa Cognitive Therapy Exposure Based On Imagery

This is a type of ottawa cognitive therapy that brings memories into play. One version of this type of imagery exposure included bringing to mind a more recent memory that brought on strong negative emotions for you. Let’s use that same student we used in an earlier technique as an example. For a clinical psychology student being given critical feedback from their supervisor. IN an imagery exposure technique, the person would bring that negatively perceived situation into mind – being given the feedback to mind and remember lots of the sensory details from the experience. For instance, the tone of voice they caught onto from their supervisor, what the room looked like, how they felt the situation looked all into exposure. From there, the student would attempt to be accurately labeled with the emotions and thoughts they felt and experienced while the interaction was happening with their behavioural urges. Did they want to run out crying, did they want to get angry, were they frustrated etc… In a prolonged technique of this ottawa cognitive therapy, with imagery exposure, the person would attempt to keep imagining the image in as such detail as possible until their stress subsided to half of it’s initial level. Bringing that memory back into mind and assessing it by exposing the senses, helps the person move on from the situation and learn form it. Exposure based on imagery can help counteract any of the rumination experienced because it can help make the intrusive and potentially painful memories, to be less likely a trigger later. It can also tend to help reduce the coping avoidance issues.

To Summarize

with this list of Ottawa cognitive therapy techniques in mind, (which is a far less exhaustive way to figure out the best blend of therapy for you), you’ll have a better idea of the variety of techniques you can use to form your Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. IF you’ve been working with a therapist to do your own readying about CBT, bring this list to them and let them know about they techniques you’er excited to give a try.

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Martin Rovers