Person A: Whaaa? Never heard of using marijuana oil for menopause, that’s new.
Person B: No, wait. You’re thinking CBD, which is a different thing. This is CBT, short for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Person A: Ohhhh. So you’re saying women going through the stages of menopause are crazy.
Person B: Again, no. Therapy isn’t for ‘crazy people’, what are you living in the 1930s or something?
Person A: Um. I’m just going to shut up now.
What is CBT?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is an evidence-based therapy that helps identify patterns of thought, feeling and behavior that impacts one’s quality of life. CBT explores the ways in which these three aspects of a person intersect and influence one another.
CBT for Menopause?
Many women facing menopause experience an array of emotional and physical responses to this transition. Our responses are a natural part of the process; we are in a long period of adjustment, after all, and this is new territory after many years of biological sameness. CBT is a recommended, non-drug treatment for menopausal symptoms. Although it might be surprising, CBT actually makes perfect sense as a treatment for menopause.
This is because:
- Menopause impacts the mind and body simultaneously.
- CBT can help identify unhelpful underlying thoughts and automatic thoughts that are self-perpetuating and may impact quality of life and self-esteem.
- CBT offers concrete behavioral as well as cognitive solutions to problems associated with menopause.
- It helps reframe situations so that we can look at menopause from a different vantage point; it expands of our view and can help move us away from a myopic view of the transition.
- Studies of CBT with menopausal women have shown improvement in vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes and night sweats), particularly because CBT reduces stress, which exacerbates these symptoms.
- CBT has helped with sleep disorders, sexual concerns and depression in menopausal women through working through negative thought patterns and establishing new behavioral changes and ways of looking at the experience.
So much of our experience in life is dictated by our headspace. If we carry around a negative underlying thoughts and feelings about ourselves during menopause, it’s bound to impact our quality of life. CBT is a practical, simple approach to managing the impact of the transition with non-invasive intervention, and it actually works!
I’m intrigued…how do I start?
Download Caria! Caria is the first mobile app to provide an accessible form of CBT for menopause. It includes audio courses that are informed by CBT and targeted at common issues you might be facing such as hot flashes and insomnia. Bite-sized, guided audio lessons help you understand the mind-body connection behind common physical issues caused by menopause, and teach you practical techniques that are proven to reduce symptoms.