The Impact of Negative Thoughts
The basis of this therapy model is that situations themselves don’t upset women. Rather, it’s the meaning that they give the situations. If they have negative thoughts, they can’t see that their perception doesn’t fit. They continue to have the same thoughts and fail to learn new things.
A depressed woman, for instance, might think when she wakes that she can’t face going to work. She might believe that she feels awful or that nothing will go right. If she stays home from work because of these thoughts, she won’t find out if her belief was wrong. Her thoughts may develop further and lead her to believe that she’s useless, weak and a failure.
These negative thoughts even trigger negative emotions and behaviors. In this case, they make the woman feel bad about herself. They also make her more likely to avoid going to work. This vicious circle can occur with other disorders as well and might begin a downward spiral.
Cognitive behavioral therapy helps women recognize this pattern. It teaches them to step away from those automatic negative thoughts and test them first. With the depressed woman, for example, it will encourage her to examine real-life situations to see what happens. The goal is to correct these distorted beliefs.