Buddhism and Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (CBT)

“In the words of the Buddha, … ’We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.’ It’s an idea that’s in line with current thinking in psychology. In fact, this simple philosophy – that changing the way we think can change the way we feel – underpins the very practice of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), an approach widely used in clinical psychology and counseling, as well as stress management programs.” So writes Kathy Graham, in a thoughtful article on Buddhism and happiness, which can be found here.

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What Kind of Therapy Do I Need?

The below excerpt was originally voiced to Psychology Today in 2009, but is still very helpful today!  The question below was posed to Judith Beck, Ph.D., an authority on cognitive behavioral therapy.  It’s so concise and helpful that I’ll include the entire answer here:

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Is your therapy really helping?

previous posting on my other blog discussed the recent controversy over “effective” psychotherapy. A more recent article in the LA Times outlines the two sides of the debate. Regardless of what you think about this controversy, one important message to take away is that it’s important to consider whether your therapy is helpful. That may sound obvious, but whatever the reasons you sought therapy to begin with, it can be helpful to periodically ask yourself whether you feel that things are tangibly changing for you. If not, have a frank discussion with your therapist — a good therapist will share your desire for tangible meaningful change and would welcome such a discussion.

Mental Health Parity Law

With the recent passage of the federal bailout of the financial industry, a groundbreaking piece of legislation was passed that will significantly affect mental healthcare in the U.S. This bill stipulates that mental health conditions must receive the same insurance coverage as physical health conditions. Thus, treatment for schizophrenia or OCD will not be covered with different annual limits, co-payments, and deductibles than those for, say, arthritis.

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