Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Techniques for Retraining Your Brain

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Techniques for Retraining Your Brain Book Cover
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Techniques for Retraining Your Brain The Great Courses Psychology The Great Courses Audio 24 Lectures @ 30 minutes each

Why is it so hard to lose weight, stop smoking, or establish healthy habits? Why do couples argue about the same issues over and over? Why do so many people lie awake at night, stricken with worry and anxiety? Why is it so difficult to come to terms with a loved one’s death, even if it’s after a long illness? The answers to these questions – and the path to lasting change in your life – lie in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), a well-tested collection of practical techniques for managing moods and modifying undesirable behaviours through self-awareness, critical analysis, and goal-oriented change. Throughout the course, you’ll explore issues that cause people to seek out therapy. In some cases, you’ll get to hear Dr Satterfield working with a patient, and in others, you’ll be delving into research to find what causes issues and how CBT helps to resolve them.

In the 24 engaging half-hour lectures of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Techniques for Retraining Your Brain, you’ll build a robust and effective self-improvement toolkit with the expert guidance of Professor Jason M. Satterfield of the University of California, San Francisco. You will explore CBT’s roots in Socratic and stoic philosophy, build a toolkit of CBT techniques, and review the latest research about its outcomes. Additionally, this intriguing and practical course allows you to take on the roles of a medical student, physician, psychologist, and patient.

Self-Help for Critical Thinkers

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a thoroughly enjoyable course for the critical thinker who would like to improve their quality of life. Professor Satterfield’s presentation is warm and engaging as he deftly blends history, science, inspirational stories, and case studies in each lecture.

As you progress through the course, you will:

  • gain a comprehensive understanding of the complex relationship between cognitions (thoughts), emotions (feelings), and behaviour;
  • see how a very empirical process can be applied to very emotional situations;
  • find success through analyzing situations in which you failed to achieve your goals;
  • ramp up your positive emotions and moderate the negative ones; and
  • understand the full scope of treatment options available.

With the tools in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and the desire to improve your situation, you can create lasting change in your life simply with the power of your own mind.

The course is broken down into the following 24 lectures.

  1. Cognitive Behavioral Foundations
  2. Quantified Self-Assessment for Therapy
  3. Setting Therapeutic Goals
  4. Third-Wave Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  5. Stress and Coping
  6. Anxiety and Fear
  7. Treating Depression
  8. Anger and Rage
  9. Advanced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  10. Positive Psychology
  11. Healing Traumatic Injuries
  12. Forgiveness and Letting Go
  13. Digging Deep and Finding Meaning
  14. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Medicine
  15. Staying on the Wagon
  16. Thinking Healthy: Weight and Nutrition
  17. Behavioural Therapy for Chemical Addictions
  18. Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
  19. Mastering Chronic Pain
  20. Building and Deepening Relationships
  21. Constructive Conflict and Fighting Fair
  22. Thriving at Work through Behavioral Health
  23. Developing Emotional Flexibility
  24. Finding the Best Help

CBT illuminates the links between thoughts, emotions, behaviours, and physical health and uses those connections to develop concrete plans for self-improvement. Built on a solid foundation of neurological and behavioural research, CBT is not simply about treating mental illness. It is an approach almost anyone can use for promoting greater mental health and improving quality of life.

In the early lectures, Dr Satterfield sets out the templates for analysing and assessing each of the conditions, and through subsequent lectures builds on a central framework which can be applied to most scenarios with supplemental questionnaires and references to resources which can aid the student in applying CBT to their own life.

If you follow or read much of the professional development work available today you will see elements of CBT appearing in coaching and mentoring. In the last lecture, Dr Satterfield even addresses this point and looks at a selection of other development models and popular self-help books (e.g. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) and how closely they align with CBT. He discusses a number of alternative routes other than CBT as these may be more applicable to some individuals, as well as the role of medication in some conditions.

My Takeaway

Overall, I found this a useful insight into psychology today and how a relatively simple and logical framework can be used to help you break down issues that may be plaguing you into manageable, identifiable elements which can be addressed. We often suffer when we generalise and everything starts to trigger us, but if we can step back and look at what is going on we often see the grains of truth that help us recover. A useful tool to have in your toolbox.

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