Artwork for podcast Voice over Work - An Audiobook Sampler
How to Therapize and Heal Yourself: 15 Self-Therapy Techniques to Understand Your Past and Control Your Future By: Nick Trenton
13th January 2023 • Voice over Work - An Audiobook Sampler • Russell Newton
00:00:00 00:05:30

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Have you ever found yourself behaving in a certain way but not really knowing why? Do you have a tendency to lash out emotionally or say and do things that you later regret? Have you ever asked yourself how you feel or what you want, only to hear the answer I don’t know?

If so, then this is the book for you. In the chapters that follow, we’ll explore the root causes of all those behaviors in life that sabotage our happiness and undermine our wellbeing. Whether it’s poor communication in relationships, addictions, unmanaged anxiety and depression, or simply a constant feeling that you’re not living to your fullest potential, there is usually one predictable root cause behind it all: lack of awareness.

Traditionally, a psychologist or psychotherapist could help you more deeply understand who you are, what you want, and how you tick. But if that’s not a possibility for you, rest assured that you can master the very same techniques for yourself and become your own therapist. Throughout this book, we’ll look at the lives of fictional people who are all experiencing very different life challenges, yet in their own way, each of them has just one problem—a lack of awareness of their emotions, core beliefs, blind spots, and expectations.

As you read, you’ll be invited to look more closely at your own emotions, thoughts, and beliefs, and how they are motivating certain behaviors and habits. Being your own therapist doesn’t take any magical skill or superhuman ability. All it takes is the willingness to be honest, to ask questions, and to courageously take action according to the insights you glean. Let’s jump in.

Part 1: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Meet Clara. Going about her life one day, she encounters two particular situations.

Situation 1 is that she receives an email from a work colleague asking her a question about a presentation she gave two weeks earlier. She reads the email, understands the question, and answers it factually.

Situation 2 is that Clara gets home from work and sees that her husband hasn’t arrived home yet. She immediately thinks, “He’s been in a car crash and he’s dead.” Terrified, she immediately takes action by blowing up his phone with panicky messages, then furiously Googles “how to plan a funeral.”

Later, she feels a little ashamed of how over-the-top her actions were.

What is the difference between these situations? In both, Clara is having a cognitive response to some stimulus in the environment. Yet in Situation 2, it’s clear that her thoughts about the situation are not helpful or accurate. In fact, it’s not the situation itself that compels Clara to feel and act as she does, but rather her thoughts about the situation.

This is the key insight behind cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT: that not all of our thoughts are for our benefit. Thoughts, feelings, and actions are all connected. The way we think about things affects how we feel, and how we feel affects how we act. How we act, in turn, changes our world in ways that confirm or reinforce how we think or feel.

The American Psychological Association (APA) explains that there are three core concepts behind CBT: