What is your experience of CBT? Have you tried it? Here food psychology coach Laura Lloyd gives accessible ways to understand the concepts behind it.
What is CBT?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
Sounds awfully scientific?
Well, ah, yes.
It is one of the most tested, studied and effective fields of psychology – especially for weight loss.
You might have heard of some of the more famous therapists’ names: Albert Ellis (who kicked it all off with his approach Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy REBT), Aaron Beck, (who took the ideas forward and came up with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), and his daughter Judith Beck who continues to practice.
Broadly speaking – and this is my own definition rather than a textbook one – it’s concerned with how our feelings are created by our cognitions (our thoughts); and when we feel terrible (hopeless, depressed, anxious) it’s because we are having really distorted thoughts, and believing that they are true.
Thoughts of catastrophe, thoughts of how pointless future actions would be, and so on.
I think many of us could identify with having these kind of thoughts about our bodies, and about our chances of losing weight, on a bad day!
Some CBT therapists take quite a structured approach – as with all clinical psychology, using scales and tests to measure improvements is part of what tells us it works – but my own approach, because I use it with hypnotherapy and coaching, is less technical, and stays close to the human part of the coaching self-inquiry.
But it’s important to note that the ideas behind CBT aren’t new, or complicated.
Why? Because our thoughts and feelings aren’t happening to us, we are creating them, clinging into certain ones, ignoring and filtering out evidence that doesn’t fit our fears and theories about ourselves.
And perhaps most profoundly, it is entirely within our power to change our thoughts. Most of us don’t naturally do this. We allow whatever thoughts appear in our minds to create our reality, our experience of the world.
But if you have ever used an affirmation, you have done something small but revolutionary: Thought a thought on purpose.
You can find this approach to thoughts mirrored in many commonly-adopted philosophies.
Mindfulness and Buddhist philosophy, the former of which has been incorporated into a new wave of CBT called ACT (acceptance and commitment therapy).
Does it remind you of anything you have encountered?
And when I coach from a CBT perspective,
it’s fun, uplifting, and illuminating. It’s forgiving and compassionate. It’s challenging and daring. Love it!!!
Solving your over eating or binge eating 'weak' time of day is the No.1 thing you can do for your relationship with food, and for your weight loss.
Coaching and cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy are proven tools to break habits and make habits, in a way that goes deeper than trying to simply manage behaviours.
We look at the emotions and thoughts that are driving your behaviours.
We look at your motivation and get rid of mixed feelings about stopping eating after work.
We look at, and rehearse, dealing with urges to eat, so that they don't feel so compelling.