Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a large umbrella, and the core tenets of the umbrella are that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors all connect and interact with one another.
Unfortunately, we don’t have the ability to just change our feelings at the drop of a hat. We can’t just say “I don’t want to feel sadness” and *poof*, it’s gone (if you figure out how to do that, please do let me know). Our feelings are our feelings and they are valid. Period.
However, where we do have more control is over our thoughts (hence, the cognitive) and our behaviors (hence, the behavioral). The good news is that our thoughts and behaviors connect to our feelings so sometimes when we change what we are saying to ourselves or how we behave, our feelings can shift as well.
In session, I will often be asking you to attend to your thoughts and feelings. Remember, if it can be used to describe pizza, it’s not a feeling (for example, fine, good, great, bad, so-so, shitty, pineapple, etc.).