Monday, 2 March 2015

What songs are helpful in CBT?

To get away from an over-clinical, unfriendly caricature that CBT is sometimes associated with, it can be helpful to make CBT more human. One way of doing this is to mention songs that reflect CBT principles or ideas. Here are a few I have used

1. Both Sides Now (Joni Mitchell)

An great old song, some younger folks may be familiar with it from Love Actually.

The message here is - there is more than one way of looking at things  - the negative one isnt necessarily the only one. Perhaps I can look at this another way.

2. Paint it, Black - The Rolling Stones

Another old classic - illustrates "how you feel affects how you think" principle. When we are depressed, we paint everything black. This song can help the client feel understood - and perhaps provide some distancing from this unhelpful strategy

3. Hold Your Head Up  Argent

I've mentioned this song to clients with social anxiety - don't care what other people think, hold yuor head up. One client turned it into a helpful mantra.

4. Fans of The Sopronos might remember with affection Tony's lamenting that he wish he was more like the Happy Wanderer of the song.  There's plenty of evidence that exercise can help overcome low mood, and this song coud link with behavioural activation in general.

5. Here's one that you won't find in the charts -  Windy Dryden's classic renditioning of Moves Like Jagger Dryen

I've previously posted a playlist of happy songs that might also be helpful!

Finally, here's a competition to turn unhelpful song lyrics into helpful lyrics - give it a go!

What songs would you add to these as helpful or relevant for CBT?