Hi, I’m Dr. Calbeck, welcome to my virtual office. Today I’m talking about cognitive behavioral psychotherapy. One of the important parts about cognitive behavioral psychotherapy is recognizing mistakes and thinking. And the mistake in thinking that I’m talking about today is called catastrophizing.
Catastrophizing is when you tell yourself that something is terrible or awful or a catastrophe. Now, listen, there are plenty of catastrophes out there and we should be clear about those when they are happening. And at the same time, it’s possible to give yourself a lot of anxiety, a lot of concern that leads to unnecessary suffering when you identify non-catastrophic events as a terrible, horrible disaster.
So one of the aspects of cognitive behavioral psychotherapy is recognizing when you’re making a mistake by catastrophizing, what is happening. When we do that, we send a message to our brain and that induces a release of stress hormones that then leads us to feel very bad in our bodies. That creates an upward spiral of upset thinking and feeling and can lead us to make bad decisions. And it can also lead us to feel stagnated and a little paralyzed. So when you tell yourself that something is terrible or horrible or that you just can’t stand it, ask yourself, is that logical and is that helpful?
If there is truly a catastrophe happening, then yes, go ahead and make some plans to deal with the catastrophe. So, for example, here in Miami, when a hurricane is coming, that has the potential to be catastrophic and we should take action to prepare for it. But when we encounter a difficult situation but label it as a catastrophe, we are likely to feel overly upset and have an increased amount of suffering that is unnecessary. So when you have a difficult interaction with a friend or with a partner, remember to label that appropriately.
That was tough. That was difficult. And here’s how I can get myself through it. So I hope you enjoyed being with me today to think about the cognitive error of catastrophizing.
Thank you so much for watching this video about cognitive behavioral therapy here in my virtual office. Please hit the like button if you found this video helpful. Also, please subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the bell icon if you would like to be notified when new videos are posted.
Thank you so much for watching today.