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Slimming in My Attic

All the material from "Weight Loss - A Neurolinguistic Perspective."

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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for Weight Loss

Cognitive behavioural therapy is a "talk therapy" that is designed to challenge and change a person's thinking processes when it comes to problematic behaviours and psychological problems. CBT is favoured by the psychiatric profession and is practiced by health care practitioners from social workers, to counselling psychologists and psychiatric nurses.

At the heart of the CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) process is the challenging and changing of beliefs that the client may hold. Some of these beliefs may be quite limiting upon the person's life, such as, "I'm no good, I'll never be able to do anything right."

Thought stopping is a powerful technique that engages the client in the problematic thinking and then basically shouts, "STOP!" to wake the client out of their train of thought that they may not normally be aware that they are doing.

Some of the beliefs for the overeater that may be challenged are the beliefs that the client has around food. For example, beliefs about portion size, what they think their body needs, the apparent impulses that they get to overeat, and the degree of helpless that is so commonly experienced by people with chronic over-eating issues.

Other CBT techniques involve exposure therapy and desensitisation, group work and imagined exposure therapy.

The quality of delivery of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) will of course vary from practitioner to practitioner, so if you find yourself not really getting anywhere with one practitioner, don't give up. it might be that you need to switch to someone who is better suited to working with you.

You might want to check out your book store for books by authors such as Albert Ellis and Aaron T. Beck, two of the primary originators of cognitive behavioural therapy. More recent works have been published by David M. Clark and David H. Barlow.

Cognitive behavioural therapy for weight loss is not a single technique but rather is a collection of methodologies that have evolves over several decades. It is not a passive process either, and requires active involvement from the client, and will often require an active intervention and challenge from the therapist to get this engagement.


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