community cognitive therapy

Sometimes issues are distressing only by how some people perceive them. If the fear is not realistic, the action they request might not be effective or appropriate.

It is these times that I have been accused of not listening. But I did listen. I listened and perceived the issue differently than they did.

For example, I have been working to have housing for people with developmental disabilities accommodated within the town centre. The reaction I sometimes get is that this would devalue the property so it would be unfair for government to force this type of housing on a property owner. However, the key assumption is that these residents would be disruptive or bad neighbours. I do not believe they would, and my belief is affirmed by experience both within our own community and in other communities. Therefore, I do not think it is unreasonable to expect this need to be accommodated.

At times, I wish White Rock could receive community cognitive therapy.

The cognitive model says the way we perceive situations influences how we feel emotionally. For example, one person reading this page might think, “Wow! This sounds good, it’s just what I’ve always been looking for!” and feels happy. Another person reading this information might think, “Well, this sounds good, but I don’t think I can do it. It’s too hard” This person feels sad and discouraged. So it is not a situation which directly affects how a person feels emotionally, but rather, his or her thoughts about that situation determines how he or she feels.

Our belief system has a significant impact on how we react to stressors and adversities. When people are in distress they often do not think clearly and their thoughts are distorted in some way.

Cognitive therapy helps people to identify their distressing thoughts and to evaluate how realistic these thoughts are. Then they learn to change their distorted thinking. When people think more realistically, they feel better. The emphasis is also consistently on solving problems and initiating behavioral change.

Dr. Jim Roche, JD PhD CAGS

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