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COGNITiVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY (CBT):

CBT helps people to understand their thoughts and feelings that impact their behaviors, and then to unhook from unproductive cycles of thinking and feeling.  Being able to analyze one's thought processes that are contributing to negative feelings and behaviors is beneficial in relationships and to our sense of well being.  For example, all of us make assumptions or interpretations every day about the meaning behind someone's words or actions, and those interpretations may or may not be accurate.  This can lead to feelings of hurt or anger or insecurity.  Learning to do the following is so beneficial:

(1.) Step back and recognize when you are making an assumption or an interpretation.

(2.) Say to yourself, "I'm assuming _________, and that might be accurate, or it might not be accurate."

(3.) Ask yourself, "Are there other possible explanations for why ____________ happened?"

(4.) Refrain from engaging in hurt or angry feelings and behaviors based on what might be a misinterpretation.

(5.) Check out if your assumption or interpretation actually is accurate before you say things or act in a way that you would later regret if you found out your interpretation was inaccurate.  

(6.) Use your reactions to determine any underlying negative beliefs about yourself, such as, "I'm not good enough," or about other people, such as, "People always let me down."  

(7.) Work to change the underlying beliefs so that what you believe actually is in alignment with your truest self.  

(8.) If someone actually is doing or saying things to you that are damaging, learn to set boundaries with yourself about what you will or will not allow in your life.  

These are incredibly important skills to develop.  Learning them and then regularly using them can interrupt a lot of conflict patterns in a relationship, and can help you to feel calmer, happier, more secure, and much less likely to have a negative emotional reaction to something someone says or does.

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