Overthinking is also known as ‘brooding’, ‘ruminating’ or sometimes ‘obsessing’ and in almost all cases that we have encountered is an attempt to ‘be in control’ of events or circumstances through the use of deeply analytical thinking.
In some respects it can also be considered as a ‘safety behaviour’ because the main purpose of overthinking is to understand ALL of the possible variables in intricate detail so that you will be able to anticipate all of the possible negative outcomes and ‘be safer’.
Overthinking as a “Benefit”
Overthinking is not always a disadvantage and does not always create problems. If, for example, you wish to be a highly successful accountant, then you are most likely going to need a highly analytical thinking style, one in which you check, re-check and check again to ensure that you have detailed every single transaction.
In this respect it provides you with an advantage that somebody who worries less about the detail would not benefit from.
Overthinking as a Problem
If, on the other hand, you have an overthinking style and spend most of your time thinking, in great detail, about every single thing that could possibly go wrong with your life, then your overthinking will almost certainly turn out to be a major disadvantage for you!
It is important to realise that overthinking is created by your core underlying belief that you NEED to exercise control in order to be ‘happy’ and this is almost always the actual reason WHY you are NOT as happy as you would like to be!
Focusing all of your time and effort on trying to be in control is symptomatic of people who are actually out of control!
Associated Symptoms & Behaviours
People may also experience a number of symptoms and behaviours that may not seem to be directly related to XX including:
- Panic attacks.
- Avoidance strategies.
- Safety behaviours.
- Low self esteem.
Within the Power Threat Meaning Framework, these associated or secondary symptoms may be better thought of as threat responses and coping strategies that have been adopted in order to cope with the immediate problem.
Unfortunately, when faced with threats not everybody adopts threat responses that are ‘adaptive’ to the situation and may frequently choose approaches that end up being more harmful to mental and physical health in the longer term.
Despite this obvious paradox, it is important to recognise that nobody deliberately chooses ‘maladaptive’ coping mechanisms that result in more harm than good.
At some level, the choice of threat response made complete sense (was coherent) at the time the threat was originally experienced, and this may have been in early childhood at a time when fewer mental resources were available.
Food Addictions Are Not All About Food
Living with an eating problem can be a difficult, lonely experience, but it is important to understand that you are not alone.
Eating problems aren’t just about food – often they are about difficult feelings or situations that you are unable to cope with.
For many people, focusing on food can act as a coping mechanism for other life problems.
Food addiction is defined as a compulsive ‘disorder’ that can, in some circumstances, lead to overeating, low self-esteem and eating disorders.
It may be anxiety or stress related and if left untreated, the disorder can break down a person’s self-esteem.
Psychology & Psychotherapy can work to overcome the addiction.
It can rebuild the client’s relationship with food by changing the associated behaviours and negative thought patterns. It can enable clients to recognise the problem.
As with overcoming any other form of addiction, the individual must be ready to make a change.
What causes a food addiction?
While there is no known cause of food addiction, there are many factors that should be considered.
Some studies suggest addiction is genetic, although environmental and emotional factors are also thought to increase the risk.
For some people, an addiction is a way of coping with difficult issues.
This may include stress, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and unemployment.
Therapy aims to identify the triggers and work with the client to overcome the issue using scientifically based tools and techniques.
Together, the sufferer and therapist can begin to rebuild their self-esteem and improve well-being.
The CORE CBT Programme for XX
The CORE CBT Programme was devised and written by Paul in 2020 and combines all the best elements of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with additional knowledge drawn from research in Personal Construct Theory, Attribution Theory, Self-Determination Theory and Social Constructivism.
It is particularly well-suited to XX related problems due to the prevalence of cognitive ideation in the creation of XX responses.
It is a 10 module course normally taken over a 10 week period with weekly hour long counselling sessions (either face-to-face or using Zoom), but can also be followed as a ‘teach yourself’ course for those with more manageable levels of anxiety.
Want to Find Out More?
If you’d like to find out more about overcoming or recovering from XX using a psychosocial approach, then why not arrange a free initial consultation with us.
During this consultation we will discuss your particular problem, what it means to you and the potential solutions that are available.
We provide a safe, confidential and non-judgemental environment without any obligation for you to commit to any psychotherapy programmes or sessions going forward.
This initial consultation will give you the opportunity to consider the merits of the psychosocial perspective as well as the chance to find out what Paul or Joan are like as individuals.