Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) For Menopause

Menopause can be a scary time, and Cognitive Behavioural therapy can be a great way to help you understand and overcome negative emotions. This can be used to reduce stress and manage overwhelming emotions.

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

CBT is a talk therapy that helps to overcome feelings of uncertainty or negativity. It can be used to change your thinking patterns by encouraging positive emotions and eliminating negative emotions.

CBT helps you to deal with your everyday thoughts and feelings by allowing you to express your thoughts and identify the root cause of your negative emotions. It can help you deal with feelings of overwhelm and manage stress by changing your mindset, and ultimately improve your overall wellbeing.

What can CBT do for your Menopause?

Menopause can be very stressful and this can trigger symptoms of menopause and make them worse. This can include your mood swings, anxiety, hot flashes and low mood which can all contribute to feelings of fear and confusion.

CBT can help you recognise these feelings and show you how to approach them differently. You will be encouraged to adopt a positive outlook and helped to relax by removing your negative thoughts.

Common uses of CBT include:

  • Anxiety and stress feelings
  • Hot flashes and night sweats are physical symptoms.
  • Coping with loss or grief
  • Sleep disorders.

Self-guided CBT

You can do self-guided CBT at your own pace and in your own place. This is a great way for you to take control of your emotions and move forward.

  • Make time for you. Give yourself priority. Do things that you enjoy and allow your mind to relax. You can express your thoughts by sketching or journalling. You can get a better understanding of yourself by expressing your thoughts. A routine can help you feel more familiar.
  • Relaxed breathing exercises can help lower stress levels and your heart rate, this will send a signal to your brain to calm down which can help you deal with overwhelming thoughts. This will help you see any negative emotions from a new perspective.
  • Cognitive restructuring can help you identify and change your thinking patterns. This will help you change how you react to situations. It is important to understand how your thoughts influence your behaviour, only then can you take steps to eradicate your negative thoughts.

CBT with a Therapist

The effectiveness of CBT with a therapist in decreasing menopausal symptoms has also been proven. You can often get a referral from your doctor through the NHS and although there may be some waiting, you should still be able access therapist support. The UK's therapist-led CBT you can access via the NHS will not be specific to menopause.

What can you expect from CBT therapists?

  • Your therapist must be able to assess your mental health and help you talk about your feelings. Talking about your feelings is one of the best methods to understand them. Your therapist will be able to recognise your negative feelings and/or uncertainties. You can then work together to develop relaxation, coping and stress management techniques.
  • Be patient. Your therapist may need to take several sessions to fully understand your situation. Trust this process.
  • You should feel at ease with your therapist and it should be easy for you to share your feelings with them, only then will they be able to help you move forward. You might want to look for another therapist if you don't feel comfortable at first.

What's the difference between CBT & Mindfulness?

CBT focuses on problem solving and encourages you to eliminate negative emotions. It is a tool that can help you manage your mental health throughout your life and once you have it, you will be able apply it in different situations.

Mindfulness on the other hand directly addresses your negative emotions. Mindfulness allows you to accept them as part of the human experience, rather than fighting them. Mindfulness helps you accept negativity as part and parcel of the present moment.

They are both extremely effective in helping you get through menopause. Our article on mindfulness will help you learn more about mindfulness, and how it can be helpful during menopause.

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