If you or someone you care about experience an emotional problem it won’t be long before you hear that cognitive behavior therapy, or CBT, is probably the treatment of choice. In fact, marriage counsellors in the United States point out that CBT is the best therapy for couples who need some help in this regard. Online dating experts maintain that wise people prefer effective therapy because they know they don’t have to deal with stuff alone. 😊

  • Why do so many couples choose this therapy?

Research over the last 40 years or so has found CBT to be helpful for all manner of problems, including anxiety, depression, insomnia, pain, anger, sexual problems, and the list goes on. But what exactly is it? CBT is probably best understood by what it is trying to achieve. The main premise of CBT is that problems develop as a consequence of learnt ways of thinking (cognition) and behaving, and that learning new ways of thinking and behaving will have more helpful impacts on emotions and well-being. Cognition: The cognitive element of CBT refers to our thoughts, mental images, self-talk and core beliefs about ourselves (“I’m ok”, or “I’m not ok”), other people (they are generally friendly or they’re not) and the world around us (the future is bright or it’s not). The more threatening our thoughts (“I’m going to be criticized”), the more anxious we will feel. The more hopeless we believe the future is (“there’s no point”), the more depressed we will feel. The more strongly we believe things should be different (“the world must not be this way!”), the more frustrated and angrier we will feel. The way we think is guided by what we pay attention to (a tendency to focus on negative things?), the way we interpret what is happening around us (seeing the glass half-full?) and the experiences we are most likely to remember (such as the times things went bad rather than the times things went well). We all use particular styles of thinking from time to time that can get us into trouble. We are “catastrophizing” when we blow things way out of proportion (things are rarely that bad). Using words like “never” and “always” is a good sign we’re thinking in an overgeneralized way (most negative things happen somewhere between never and always). It’s important to remember that thoughts are, well, just thoughts. They are not immutable facts. Most of the thoughts we have throughout the day are random streams of consciousness that are simply the output of creative minds. And many people can interpret exactly the same situation in many different ways. Behavior: The behavioral aspect of CBT is based on learning theory. If you’ve heard of Pavlov’s dogs then you know about classical conditioning. Pavlov rang a bell just before he gave his dogs some food. Eventually the dogs started to salivate whenever they heard a bell ring, even if no food was given. They learnt that the bell signaled food. Emotional responses can be classically conditioned in a similar way. As a simple example, someone with a dog phobia might recall being bitten as a child. A cognitive behavior therapist might speculate that the child developed a classically conditioned fear response to the dog. Just like the bell triggered Pavlov’s dogs to salivate, an image or thought of a dog can trigger fear, even if the dog is friendly and has no intention of biting. Pavlov found that if he repeatedly rang the bell without providing food eventually the dogs stopped salivating when they heard the bell. They learnt that the bell no longer signaled food. Similarly, if we repeatedly expose someone with a dog phobia to dogs without them being bitten, then they will learn that dogs are not dangerous and the fear response will stop being triggered. It turns out that repeated exposure to any feared object or situation (in the absence of the fear coming true) can effectively diminish the fear response. This is called “exposure therapy”.

Online dating consultants argue that many happily married couples have had therapy & that is a reason why their marriages can last.

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  • Your marriage will be better if you do therapeutic activities together.

Apart from seeing a therapist regularly, you and your spouse can also do some therapeutic activities together. For example, you may have a date night once a week. You can cook mindfully together. You might travel the world if you can afford to do that.

According to online dating advisors, you don’t have to suffer from a mental health problem or a relationship problem in order to see a therapist. In fact, you can see a therapist now so as to maintain your mental health and become happier in general.

“The best is yet to come. Online dating gives you hope.”