Story by Cassie Clark / Contributing Writer
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is like going to the gym, said Melanie Magliacano.
Magliacano is one of Middle Tennessee State University’s staff counselors. She hosts a Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) workshop every Thursday until Mar. 3.
During the first meeting on Thursday, Feb. 3., Magliacano explained what CBT is and how it is helpful, especially for struggling students. CBT is the most common form of therapy. It is used to help people learn how their thoughts, feelings and behaviors work together.
Benefits of CBT include increasing self-awareness, gaining a more positive outlook on life and improving interpersonal relationships. Magliacano said that people that are most suitable for CBT are those struggling with anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, depression or just general unhelpful thoughts. Over time, using CBT can help people avoid destructive behaviors and increase their ability to have a greater regard for themselves, she said.
Magliacano used the “CBT triangle” chart to explain how emotions, thoughts, and behaviors are all connected. Each pillar affects the others, and “it all happens so quickly, that often, we don’t realize it’s happening,” she said.
“Tons and tons of adults don’t know how to recognize their feelings,” said Magliacano. She commented “feelings charts” can be helpful tools to pinpoint a feeling in order to address it. She also mentioned that taking a minute to calm down before addressing a situation can help someone get back to feeling “balanced.” Taking a nap, a shower or just having a quick snack can help re-center.
There are also questions someone can ask themself in order to address a situation properly. For example, asking, “Do I have all of the information?” or “Is there any evidence to the contrary?” can help you to get a more accurate read on a situation.
Magliacano said that writing down an unhelpful thought then listing all of the evidence against it can help make one feel better.
Magliacano stressed that no matter what happens or what people think of a person, their worth does not change. “Since the day you were born, your worth has been static,” she said.
CBT Workshops will be held every Thursday from 3-4 p.m. Anyone can join via Zoom by registering with their MTSU email address.
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