Cognitive behavior modification, developed by psychologist Donald Meichenbaum, helps you change your behavior by first changing your thoughts.
The theory behind this behavior modification therapy is that, we all have negative self-talk that causes us to act in dysfunctional ways.
In other words, when you tell yourself negative things (I’ll never be able to do that…She won’t like me…My artwork is worthless…), you talk yourself into feelings and behavior that are destructive or negative for you.
Dr. Meichenbaum believes, as do many other prominent psychologists and psychiatrists, that our thoughts actually become our behaviors.
Thoughts materialize into behavior! So, very simply, what you think–is what you become!
How Cognitive Behavior Modification Works
Did you know that a person with panic disorder actually talks himself into having a panic attack? Not consciously, of course. But, the very fear of having a panic disorder–causes the person to be so afraid of having one–that they have a panic attack!
So, how do you stop the thoughts that started the panic? You need to block out the old, dysfunctional thoughts. Then replace the old thoughts with positive, empowering thoughts.
This cognitive behavioral therapy has been found to be very effective, and you can actually turn your life around by changing your thought patterns.
In fact, working with an experienced therapist you can learn to change your thinking patterns–a form of cognitive behavior therapy that works!
Using the self-hypnosis programs, for example, you can take advantage of therapists’ experience–therapists who specialize in stress management, weight loss, relationship issues or other areas for self improvement.
How to Do Cognitive Behavior Modification
Cognitive behavior therapy is fairly simple, but it may not seem so easy to those who are working on change.
Here is how it works:
- Listen to your thoughts – The first step in making changes, is to pay close attention to what you are thinking and, in effect, saying to yourself. Your self-talk is often the culprit that holds you back or lowers your self-esteem. So listen carefully to what you are thinking and saying to yourself.Do you tell yourself that you will be afraid, won’t be able to do something, won’t be successful? Make a mental note, or, write it down.
- Use thought-stopping – The next step is to catch yourself in your negative thoughts. Simply tell yourself to “stop” or say, “next” mentally.
- Replace the negative thought with a positive one – The third step is to replace the thoughts that were holding you back. Substitute positive thoughts that empower you to be successful, brave, or happy.
It is, of course, entirely possible to use this method yourself, without the aid of anyone else. However, many people find it simpler and faster to enlist the aid of a qualified therapist.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you stick with your new program.
And, it won’t be long before you will be developing new thought patterns, using cognitive behavior modification, that help you to be more confident, self-assured, and positive!