Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of occupational therapy that is commonly used to rehabilitate aspects of one’s personal life, such as mental health and relationship building. Cognitive behavioral therapy combines psychotherapy and behavioral therapy. It is especially helpful for patients suffering from low self-esteem because it helps them understand the sources of their negative thoughts and how it transfers into their behaviors. Commonly prevalent in adolescents and young adults, incorporating these cognitive behavioral therapy techniques for improving self-esteem can help patients live a healthier lifestyle.
4 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Techniques for Improving Self-Esteem
What is Cognitive Behavior Therapy?
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on the cause and effect relationship of one’s internal thoughts as it is being reflected in external things. In other words, cognitive behavioral therapy aims to understand the individual’s perceptions and feelings in relation to his/her circumstances. Specifically, cognitive behavioral therapy emphasizes the importance of analyzing individuals’ negative thoughts and helping them understand how it is being reflected in unhealthy behaviors. Cognitive behavior theory is focused on the idea that the meanings and associations that individuals assign to situations cause them to become pessimistic, thus affecting their behavior. Cognitive-behavioral therapists work towards helping their individuals change their negative thoughts into positive thinking, which in turn will change their behaviors.
How Can CBT Help with Improving Self-Esteem?
Because low self-confidence centers on how individuals’ perception of themselves, cognitive behavioral therapy techniques for improving self-esteem helps individuals understand the root of those cognitive thoughts. By learning and understanding how the individual is creating meanings out of these situations, s/he will be able to reframe his/her thoughts and work towards improving his/her self-esteem.
The role of a cognitive-behavioral therapist is to listen to his/her patients and help them refocus various aspects of their lives to improve behavior. Specifically, cognitive-behavioral therapists help patients engage in various techniques and concepts by teaching them how to reframe their negative thoughts. This is achieved by centralizing sessions that focus on building and maintaining structure.
Cognitive Restructuring: Cognitive restructuring is a method that focuses on identifying patterns in individuals’ thoughts and the sources of how they came to be. By reflecting on their thoughts, cognitive-behavioral therapists will be able to help patients analyze their judgment processes and help them restructure those perceptions into realistic situations. In other words, cognitive restructuring helps patients think in reference to reality and facts. As a result, this will help patients reformulate their thoughts and beliefs that they have projected onto themselves. Cognitive-behavioral therapists could implement cognitive restructuring activities such as encouraging their patients by creating lists of their positive qualities to instill optimism.
- Creating a list of positive qualities about yourself and reflect on them before going to bed every night
- Positive affirmations in the mirror
- Create a list of factors that cause you to have negative thoughts
- Create a list of what happened vs. your interpretation of what happened
Behavioral Activation: Behavioral activation is a method that identifies uncomfortable situations that make the individuals fearful. Cognitive-behavioral therapists engaging in behavioral activation aims to encourage their patients to step out of their comfort zone and engage in those situations. This helps the individuals refrain from avoiding situations and helping them to try new things. An example of an activity that cognitive-behavioral therapists can utilize is to encourage their patients to create a list of things that they are fearful of and their reason(s) for being afraid of them. Then, cognitive-behavioral therapists can help analyze those reasonings and help patients sort through their thought process.
Assertiveness Training: Assertiveness training aims toward helping patients reclaim their self-confidence. By encouraging patients to be more assertive, CB therapists are motivating patients suffering from low self-esteem to reclaim their power and confidence.
Social Skills Training: Social skills training works toward helping patients improve upon their social skills. This helps patients work on how they interpret and analyze various situations that they may encounter. Some people with low self-esteem obtain their low self-confidence through negative perceptions of their interactions with others as well as a lack of engagement. By helping patients improve their social skills, CB therapists will help patients become aware of their thought processes as well as confidence in themselves.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a great method for helping those suffering from low self-esteem. By helping individuals understand the relationship between their thoughts and their actions, they will be able to reflect and work towards leading a more healthy and positive lifestyle.