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Is CBT helpful in learning to deal with the effects of childhood abuse?
 

David Baxter

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Re: Cognitive Behavior-Therapy and effects of abuse

I think so. I don't think it's the whole answer but I think it can help with some of the distorted thinking patterns (e.g., self-blame, shame) that result from abuse.
 

momof5

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Re: Cognitive Behavior-Therapy and effects of abuse

I found This Janet, not sure if this would help you out or not. Looks informative, I think it would be worth a read for you.
 
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What other types of therapy might work?

Does one have to face this before you can move on with your life?
 

David Baxter

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Janet, I think the key is to work at one or two issues at a time and let yourself be guided by your therapist. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to psychotherapy. Ideally, the approaches (and the pace) are adapted to the issues being addressed, the patient, and even the therapist, so that treatment becomes interactive and individualized.

Generally speaking, I look at CBT as being ideal for managing symptoms and giving the patient coping strategies and coping skills. In my opinion, to completely "overcome" traumatic histories usually involves something beyond that, but ideally the therapist would not go to that "next level" unless or until the patient is ready to go there.
 
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That makes sense. I guess when you're struggling with trying to manage the self-injury, disordered eating, self-hatred, thoughts of suicide and more, then it's best not to "go there" while everything is so raw and painful.

It seems like even the CBT stirs things up, the memories, the thoughts, the pain. It's such a constant struggle. One little step at a time.

I think it's a big step sometimes to even admit that there has been and is abuse.
 

ThatLady

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Like David said, I think that's what CBT gives us - the tools to tinker with our thinking and coping patterns so that we're better able to deal with the difficult things in our lives. That way, when and if we do need to bring them to the surface and deal with them, we have what we need to cope with the pain in the best possible way.
 
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janet, for me too the cbt at first was hard to do because it made me have to face what i was feeling. i felt it made things worse and i stopped trying. it's hard to get past that hurdle, but when you do, you will find that it does help.
 
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janet, for me too the cbt at first was hard to do because it made me have to face what i was feeling. i felt it made things worse and i stopped trying. it's hard to get past that hurdle, but when you do, you will find that it does help.

I am glad to hear this.

I was thinking about this whole thing. I think right now I do not have the coping skills to deal with the memories and the feelings from the memories and even the day-to-day things that happen and the cbt seems so slow in working or helping so I feel stuck and panicked. And scared. :(

Sometimes I just give up and go with the negative thoughts because it is exhausting trying to catch all of them and turn them around. I am hoping/thinking that medication will help with the anxiety and awful feelings that come with the memories.
 
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it IS exhausting applying the cbt to every single thought you have. try not to put too much pressure on yourself. try to apply it when you can, and if you can't, that's ok. cbt will be easier once you're on medication, and easier with practice.

also, try to keep the cbt simple for now. apply it to the easier things, day to day things, rather than all your memories. save the big stuff for when you've gotten some practice in. you'll be more confident that it can help you then.
 
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That is good advice.

I think I get stuck wondering this: If some of my thoughts are distorted and negative and wrong, then maybe all of them are and maybe my whole reality is distorted. Then I just panic thinking it's hopeless because I'm too messed up to ever straighten everything out.

Lately, though, I'm trying to stop that by saying this whole way of reasoning is why I need help and it's ok to need help and get help and I'm doing the best I can under the circumstances. That works for a bit, but the old thinking always comes back and sometimes it seems stronger than ever. And the self-destructive thoughts get scarier and scarier like my own mind is trying to destroy me. It's so confusing.

But I suppose that is WHY I do need help. :confused: It's hard work.
 
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If some of my thoughts are distorted and negative and wrong, then maybe all of them are and maybe my whole reality is distorted.
try not to worry about this. you do have accurate thoughts too, not just distorted ones. the thought that maybe your whole reality is distorted is a distortion in itself. this is all or nothing thinking, and generally speaking, things aren't black and white like that. one accurate thought i can think of that you have is that you know you need some help with things, and you know there is help out there for you.

it is hard work, but i know you can do this. we're here to support you every step of the way. :hug:
 

David Baxter

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The essence of CBT is to challenge your thoughts, not to necessarily assume that they are distorted. Some of your thoughts may be unrealistic or distorted but that certainly does not mean that ALL of them are. Question them, challenge them, evaluate them against the "Ten Types of Twisted Thinking" and the objective evidence, and then apply CBT cognitive reframing/counters where appropriate.
 

Halo

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Janet what I have found helpful for me and so I don't feel so overwhelmed with having so many different thoughts is to complete the mood log that is located in the thread here: http://forum.psychlinks.ca/showthread.php?t=5049 and focus on one topic or thought and try to challenge it using the Ten Types of Twisted Thinking like David mentioned.

I find for me that having to write it out is more helpful as I am better able to see where the distortion lies and whether it really is a distorted thought or not. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't. I also find that the same thoughts keep replaying over and over in my head and I know that they are definitely distorted so once I do a mood log on it and I come up with a rational response to it, I can pull that specific mood log out and re-read it when I find that the thought pops up again.

Anyway this is just something that I have found that works for me.....at least until I am able to start doing this kind of work in my head, which I know in time I will.

Take care
:hug:
 

momof5

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Ten Types of Twisted Thinking like David mentioned.
Am I missing something on this one? I can't seem to find this, can someone direct me to a link to this?

Thanks!
 

momof5

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Many thanks Ladybug.
btw, did I tell you I LOVE that name? I have ladybug placemats, ladybug rug in my kitchen, and a ladybug "fly swatter" that doesn't move to hit anything, lol.

I have ladybug things in my garden, and a few painted things in my "used to do crafts" supplies. Yes, I love ladybugs,
 

momof5

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Thanks Ladybug, appreciate your time in posting the information for me!
~mom
 

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