According to Virgil, “Mens agitat molem,” or mind moves matter. Today we would say mind over matter, and that is the basis of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The theory is positive thoughts bring about positive results. CBT is one form of psychotherapy, also known as “talk therapy.” It is administered by trained professionals and can be one-on-one or in a group. Those suffering from anxiety, depression, PTSD, and a number of other disorders, often benefit from CBT. There is even some evidence CBT can help with insomnia.
Although often associated with mental health, CBT can also be used as an adjunct to a physical problem. For example, if someone is experiencing pain, such as backache, CBT can help you change the way your body reacts to pain by changing your thoughts about pain. Many women who have undergone childbirth using the Lamaze Method are familiar with a type of cognitive behavior training, using breath and focal points to help cope with the pain of contractions. (And if you’ve seen any episodes of Call the Midwife, you know what I’m talking about.) An offshoot of CBT, called acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), is also proving useful for those suffering from chronic pain, as well as those with addictive disorders.
We started out with Virgil and we’ll end with Epictitus: ”Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them.” Make sure the view of yourself is a positive one and if not, learn how you can make it so.