How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Can Help Us Better Understand the Black Lives Matter Movement

Most human beings have implicit biases. And that’s okay, as long as we are aware of them and aware of how our attitudes affect others.

In the United States, black people have lived through a long history of violence and social injustice. With the recent deaths of George Flynn and Rayshard Brooks, the Black Lives Matter movement has organized many protests around the nation, inspiring people from all walks of life to take a long hard look at themselves and their own beliefs.

To this end, cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT for short, can help us all better understand the Black Lives Matter movement and how we can help heal the divide among the races. The entire goal of CBT is to change a person’s thought patterns in order to change their responses to difficult situations.

CBT combines psychotherapy and behavioral therapy. Psychotherapy emphasizes the importance of the personal meaning each individual places on events and circumstances. Behavioral therapy looks at the relationship between our thoughts, our problems, and our subsequent behaviors. Most therapists who practice CBT personalize the therapy to the specific needs and personality of each client.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been used for decades to treat adults, families, children, and adolescents. It has shown great success in treating depression, general anxiety disorder, PTSD, stress, anger issues, OCD, and marital difficulties. It has been so successful in treating myriad mental conditions precisely because it helps individuals reframe what they think about a particular belief or event. It is for this reason that I and other therapists have begun to use CBT to help people understand the BLM movement and how they can help it grow and make powerful changes.

Finding the Right CBT Therapist

If you are interested in exploring CBT treatment, it’s important to look for a licensed therapist with specialized training and experience. Beyond these credentials, it’s also important to look for an individual you feel comfortable with.

If you are interested in exploring CBT, please reach out to me. I would be happy to discuss how I may be able to help.

 

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Are You Doing Self-Care All Wrong?

The topic of self-care is one that has been discussed openly and often over the past decade. But for many, the concept of self-care is one that is still a bit mysterious, if not downright confusing.

What Is Self-Care?

First, self-care is a practice and a commitment we make to ourselves. It is any activity we do deliberately to support our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Not only does the right kind of self-care improve our health and life, but it can also improve the relationships we have with others.

Some examples of self-care might be:

  • Creating better habits
  • Eating right
  • Getting plenty of quality sleep
  • Exercising
  • Meditation
  • Spending quality time with loved ones
  • Making time to enjoy a hobby
  • Learning something new

Self-care isn’t always fun or easy, but you do it anyway because you know that the activity is what is BEST for you. In this way, self-care is a bit like acting as your own parent, making sure you do the things you don’t necessarily feel like doing because it is what your mind, body, and spirit need.

What Self-Care Isn’t

Self-care isn’t necessarily about making yourself feel better.

Person A has had a very bad day. They practice proper self-care and, when they get home, they change clothes, go for a 3-mile run, then cook a healthy dinner that refuels their body.

Person B has also had a very bad day and practices phony self-care. On their way home, person B stops at the store and gets a 6-pack of beer and a gallon of ice cream, then spends the entire night on the sofa drinking and eating poorly in an attempt to make the bad day go away.

This phony style of self-care is very immature. It is not parental but something a child does. If the parent insists you eat your veggies because they are good for you, the child will eat only candy bars when the parent isn’t looking.

Self-care is about making decisions based on what is good for you, not what you FEEL like doing at the moment.

Self-care should also not be confused with pampering. While there is nothing wrong with getting massages and pedicures, these again tend to be quick fixes we give ourselves to make ourselves feel better in the moment.

At the end of the day, self-care is a commitment to yourself to live, grow, and evolve in healthy ways. It means making choices that will lead to your best self and greatest potential.

 

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