Frequently Asked Questions About Cognitive Dissonance

Are you having problems with your significant other because of psychological conflict? This conflict may be a sign of cognitive dissonance. It is common in every relationship, but most people are not aware of it.

If you want to know more about cognitive dissonance and how you can manage it, read on.

The word “cognitive” relates to conscious intellectual activities like thinking, remembering, and reasoning. On the other hand, dissonance refers to the lack of agreement.

Social psychologist Leon Festinger first introduced the Cognitive Dissonance Theory (CDT) in 1957. It refers to the discomfort in maintaining consistency between two thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, attitudes, and values. We struggle once we find conflict within these multiple cognitions.

So, what is the connection of cognitive dissonance to relationships?

Your current significant other may not be your ideal partner, but you accept them for who they are and stay in the relationship. Another example is when your partner does things you’re not fond of, but you try to compromise with them.

When these things happen, you have a conflict between your cognition and your partner’s. That is cognitive dissonance.

Moreover, cognitive dissonance may lead to infidelity. There may be a discrepancy in a person’s self-concept, leading them to cheat even if they believe they are loyal and faithful.  When this happens, they experience psychological discomfort, affecting their thoughts and feelings.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy where you talk to your therapist regarding your thoughts, feelings, and conflicts. This therapy aids in resolving disagreements in relationships, among many issues. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help if you struggle with opening up about your feelings.

You should always consult an expert—your mental health provider, for advice. They can recommend any treatment, like therapies, they deem helpful for you.

Below are some frequently asked questions about cognitive dissonance.

What is cognitive dissonance therapy?

If the consequences of cognitive dissonance have become too severe, you can seek the help of a therapist. You might discover that specific thoughts are influencing your behavior for the worse.

Your therapist will work with you to untangle the web of beliefs and ideas you may have about a situation. Once you recognize the disparity between your thoughts and behavior, it becomes easier to resolve it.

Why is cognitive dissonance bad?

Cognitive dissonance is not always harmful. But if your behavior is not aligned with your core values, you may experience intense feelings. It may include feelings of shame, guilt, and stress. These emotions can negatively affect your self-esteem and interpersonal relationships.

As a result, you might engage in maladaptive behaviors to reconcile the contradictions.

Is cognitive dissonance a disorder?

No, but it can cause emotional distress and harmful behaviors. People may deliberately avoid information that does not conform to their beliefs. They may also refuse a healthy debate to resolve the conflict. In some cases, cognitive dissonance can strain relationships and prevent self-growth.

What is cognitive dissonance in relationships?

It refers to the dissonance that arises when your partner’s beliefs or behaviors may not align with your own. Your partner may have different views on mundane things. But you need to be on the same boat when it comes to planning your future.

You may choose to have an in-depth conversation to resolve the cognitive dissonance or make compromises.

What are the 4 types of relationships?

The four types of interpersonal relationships are between families, friends, acquaintances, and romantic partners. Relationships are bonds between two or more people. It can be long-lasting or short-lived. The duration depends on the commitment of those involved to maintain the relationship.

 

What are some examples of cognitive dissonance?

A person may experience cognitive dissonance due to inherited beliefs about themselves and the world. One example is smokers and alcoholics justifying their harmful habits.

Another example is when a person is taught that being gay is a sin. They might experience cognitive dissonance when the person then identifies as a member of the said community. It can also come in the form of acquired biases or misconceptions about minority groups.

How do you break cognitive dissonance?

It might be impossible to eliminate cognitive dissonance. However, you can reduce the resulting mental tension by changing your behavior.

You can also alter your beliefs so that they are in accordance with your actions. It might be uncomfortable, but you may have to unlearn and relearn particular ideas that may not be relevant anymore.

How do you recognize cognitive dissonance?

Cognitive dissonance is when you feel conflicted over something but do not know how to move forward. It might be hard to recognize it at the onset, but you can take a step back to ask why you feel conflicted.

Pay close attention to the thoughts, feelings, and ideas you have about a situation. For severe cases of cognitive dissonance, it’s best to seek professional help.

How does cognitive dissonance lead to an attitude change?

To reduce cognitive dissonance, a person may:

  1. Change their existing beliefs,
  2. Acquire new information that supports their belief, or
  3. Reduce the importance of said beliefs.

A person seeking to sustain their smoking habit can refuse to believe that smoking is harmful. They may also seek out information that confirms their belief. They may even adopt a belief that the short-term benefits of smoking outweigh the long-term consequences.

How does cognitive dissonance affect workplace behavior?

It varies depending on their beliefs and behaviors. But then,  cognitive dissonance can affect employee performance and work relationships. For instance, an employee may discover that the company has questionable practices that do not align with his values. To reduce the tension, they may justify unethical behavior.

At the same time, there is also a tendency to make excessive rationalizations. They may lose motivation to perform their job. It is also possible to experience heightened workplace stress that can affect their productivity.

Why does cognitive dissonance occur?

Cognitive dissonance occurs due to discrepancies between a person’s beliefs and actions or their beliefs and values. It’s not always possible to act in strict accordance with our beliefs all the time.  Cognitive dissonance is a necessary component of a child’s learning process.

What is an example of dissonance?

Cognitive dissonance is when a person knows that smoking is harmful to their health but keeps on doing it anyway. Another example is when you keep making excuses to put off exercise even though you’re aware of its many health benefits.

How does cognitive dissonance operate in everyday life?

Cognitive dissonance is not always blatant. It usually comes in the form of everyday excuses we make in life. From missing an exercise day or justifying a “white lie,” we sometimes think or do things that contradict our values. The tension depends on how severe the contradiction is.

What is cognitive conflict?

Cognitive conflict is another term for cognitive dissonance. When a person …

Frequently Asked Questions About Depression And Relationships

It is funny how a relationship gets ruin for no reason. Yes, a relationship may fail even without the presence of a third party. That is because emotional and mental health issues can become a factor. Some might not agree with that, I know. But for those couples who are struggling with mental and emotional health issues, the reality is different.

Not all relationships can work, especially when one or both of them already decided that things aren’t under control. Some instances believe that the mere reason for a failed commitment is falling out of love. But I doubt that. No one easily falls out of love just because they think it’s trendy or entirely necessary. There is a strong reason behind that statement, and for quite a while, I realized it was all because of the mental and emotional damage present in the relationship.

You might not agree with me, but let me explain some things to you from these frequently asked questions. From there, it is your choice to look deep into these answers and try to use them for your own relationship evaluation.

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How does mental illness affect relationships? 

Mental health problems are an extremely painful and traumatic moment for all individuals as it creates a huge impact on emotional components. It impacts people’s ability to express empathy due to the persistent feelings of anxiety and isolation and causes codependency or even resentment. There is a struggle to know what individuals should do to cope with their stress while trying their best to handle other life pressure.

Anxiety and depression affect relationships in a very unnoticeable way. Sometimes, it can leave both parties unaware of their words, actions, and behaviors. Often, the mental health condition makes it impossible for both individuals to look beneath what is more important.

 What is the relationship between stress and depression? 

When stress is prolonged and promotes an overwhelming feeling, the risks for developing medical problems and mental health problems increase. Chronic stressful life situations are inevitable. Thus, the possibility of depression is right around the corner. However, the damages are not limited to that. Stress contributes to more health issues such as sleep problems, substance use problems, pain, bodily complaints, inability to focus and concentrate, etc.

 What are the types of depression? 

The common types of depression are Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Persistent Depressive Disorder, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), Psychotic Depression, Peripartum (Postpartum) Depression, and Situational Depression.

 What diseases are linked to depression? 

Some examples of diseases linked to depression are arthritis, kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease, lupus, HIV/AIDS, and multiple sclerosis (MS). Even Hypothyroidism also leads to depressed feelings. That is due to the fears and anxiety that tend to build-up over time.

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 What is the number one cause of depression?

Research shows that depression does not just occur from simply having too little or too much of certain chemicals in the brain. Rather, there are many possible causes of the mental disorder including, genetic vulnerability, abuse, addiction, death or loss of a loved one, conflict, medications, stressful life events, dysfunctional emotions, and medical problems.

How does depression change your personality?

Though not all the time, depression can still change someone’s personality in an instant. Often individuals become irritable, frustrated, angry, and impulsive. And despite knowing the cause of the emotional and mental issues, both couples tend to ignore it because of their irrational thinking. In cases where couples attempt to quell the pain, some turn to cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, and other unhealthy habits that risk their health even further. They do not understand that mental health is associated with high risks of violence, other forms of self-harm, and suicide.

Why do females have a higher rate of depression than males?

Depression rates are higher in females than in males, especially after hitting puberty. That is because girls usually enter puberty before boys do. Thus, they’re more likely to develop earlier emotional and mental issues regarding desire, self-image, peer pressure, etc.

But despite that information, it does not mean men are less affected. While females may have higher rates of depression, males are often victims of self-harm and suicidal thoughts. That is because of gender roles where society perceived males as dominant creature that is somehow not allowed to feel or show weakness.

How do you deal with sadness in a relationship?

While everyone’s depression experience is unique, few things can help couples address the situation. The first and foremost step is to educate themselves about the danger of depression. Both need to separate facts from fiction. The couples should focus on taking care of one another and find support with each other’s presence. Both of them should not take their stress and anxiety personally, and they should not lash out at one another. They need to become a team to win over their mental health issues.

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What is a toxic relationship?

The answer is simple. A toxic relationship is when couples don’t support each other. When the goal of one of them is to undermine the other, then that is considered a toxic relationship. Everything around these people is competition, compensation, favors, and extreme imbalance. Toxic relationships do not compromise, give, forgive and forget.

How do you know if your partner is mentally unstable?

It is vital to pay close attention to your partner when it comes to depressive symptoms that are affecting your relationship. One way to identify if your loved one is mentally unstable is when there is often aggression. When your partner often gets upset, he or she might be dealing with emotional and mental issues that are hard to express. When your partner loses interest or shows no empathy towards you, that is also a sign of unstable mental health. When your partner cannot admit mistakes, fears criticisms, stiff with others, dramatic or overacting, then those are warning signs too.

Takeaway

Be mindful that not because you think your partner is okay does not mean he or she is. It would be nice for to you talk with your loved ones about his thoughts and feelings. Allow your partner to express his emotional and mental struggle. Because sometimes, the only way you can get rid of depression is through being there for the one you love.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Family Therapy

Family therapy is a helpful tool for strengthening bonds within your family. This treatment aims to improve communication, strengthen the family’s decision-making skills, and solve relationship problems.

Family therapy deals with family dynamics and relations. Although different from individual treatment, it can still work alongside.

For example, a patient going through therapy for their eating habits will need their family’s support. With the whole family attending the session, the therapist can address external factors affecting the patient’s behavior.

Therapists typically use the family systems therapy. With this, they treat the family as a single unit. Several approaches fall under this type of therapy.

The approaches include strategic family therapy, structural family therapy, and integrational family therapy. It is the role of the therapist to identify which of these approaches suit a specific family best.

Although family therapy is a common and beneficial practice, there are still misconceptions about it. Some may think therapy is only for broken or suffering families.

But in reality, families go through therapy for many reasons. Some seek mental health help to address trauma or grief. Meanwhile, others need assistance for children with ADHD or teenagers suffering from substance abuse. Still, some would seek help for eating disorders and other mental illnesses.

At the same time, family therapists can also help adults going through financial troubles. But then, some families also seek therapy to improve their family dynamics. Some may perceive these issues negatively, but these situations are all part of human nature.

Other pushing points may also include significant changes, like a child moving away for school or a blended family coming together.

Additionally, some people who know about family therapy may still have far too many unanswered questions. And the thing is, it may be challenging to gather up all answers in one reading.

Below are FAQs regarding family therapy to inform you and clear any misconceptions you may have about it. Here, you will also learn about what you can expect at a family therapy clinic, including session duration and costs.

You can also expect an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of this therapy to guide you.

What do family therapists do?

Family therapists help mend relationships within your household. By looking at each member’s individual role and power dynamics, family therapists can improve your family member’s mental health.

They can help treat depression, anxiety, and other psychological problems caused by or related to your family. Although they may conduct individual interviews or sessions, family therapists apply a family-centric approach to therapy.

How much does an MFT charge per hour?

A marital and family therapist usually charges around $100 per session. However, the cost of therapy ranges from $70 to $250 per hour. Thus, rates may vary depending on your MFT. Some family therapists accept insurance, so make sure your provider also covers costs for therapy.

Is an MFT a psychologist?

MFTs and clinical psychologists are both part of the core mental health professionals but are different in their ways. Before passing as MFTs, they must attain a master’s degree and receive at least two years of supervised clinical training.

On the other hand, clinical psychologists must accomplish a doctorate and train for at least a year. Aside from educational and training background, an MFT is specialized in treating mental disorders within the context of a relationship.

In comparison, clinical psychologists focus more on treating conditions with an individual-focused approach.

What typically happens in family therapy?

First, the MFT asks what problems are bothering your family and how each member views these situations. The MFT will then interview each member to determine the individual roles in the family. By learning about these respective roles, your family therapist will understand your familial relations.

Aside from helping you in your weaknesses, MFTs also find your family’s strengths so you can maintain such habits. Your therapist will then provide you with health treatment plans and serve as a mediator for conflict within the family.

Can therapists treat family members?

Family therapists treat family members by addressing the symptoms associated with mental conditions. At times, solving family crises can help improve the mental health conditions of family members.

However, there are instances when factors outside of the family cause mental health conditions. Thus, these family members with other mental health disorders can seek help from clinical psychologists instead.

What are the disadvantages of family therapy?

During family therapy, there is a tendency to have differing interpretations of a session. This disparity can sometimes lead to further conflicts, which may add difficulty to mending familial relationships.

In some situations, family therapy may teach younger children to bottle up feelings and thoughts instead of sharing them. However, with a proper approach, these disadvantages can be avoided altogether.

Like most treatment methods, family therapy has both advantages and disadvantages to your family dynamic. At the onset, family therapy brings to light all the complications at home to the point of creating tension.

What is the difference between family therapy and individual therapy?

Family therapy focuses on social factors such as communication and relationships in addressing your mental health problems. On the other hand, individual therapy emphasizes self-esteem, personality building, mindfulness, and different cognitive-behavioral approaches.

Another difference lies in the goals of each treatment. Both therapy approaches aim to improve the patients’ mental health, but family therapy also focuses on fixing your familial relationship.

Family therapy and individual therapy can improve the mental health even when they differ in the treatment approach.

How does family systems therapy work?

Family systems therapy views the family as a single emotional unit. This kind of treatment speaks about how each family member’s behavior is affected by its origins, functions, and relationship.

Family systems therapy thus determines how the family dynamic affects each person. By knowing how the family dynamic works, families can work together to control their situations better.

Should family members have the same therapist?

There are some benefits to having the same therapist, especially if family members need medical attention due to problems arising at home. However, it is not always the case.

In some situations, it can also be unhealthy for family members to have the same therapist. Having the same therapist can create some tension and increase the risks of confidentiality breaches.

Censoring parts of a story can also become useless if your other family member shares the same tale unfiltered.

How long do therapy sessions usually last?

Individual therapy sessions usually last 40-60 minutes, while group therapies may last up to 90 minutes. Consequently, family therapy can take up 50-55 minutes of your time.

Family therapy sessions also tend to be shorter as compared to other types of treatments. Family therapies usually last 12 sessions. However, some families can extend for more periods depending on their specific situation.

Which type of therapy is best?

It depends on what …