Cognitive behavioral therapy is a highly effective treatment for Misophonia. This therapy challenges the individual who suffers from this disorder to change the way he perceives this mental disorder. Since no clinically approved procedure cures Misophonia, most patients resort to seeking Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or (CBT). This therapy requires commitment and dedication from a person, as it does not work overnight. It involves techniques that can stretch over a couple of months or sometimes years, depending on the progress.
The following are some of the cognitive behavioral therapy methods that can be useful in mitigating the emotional response of a person with Misophonia.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Misophonia
This a therapy in which a therapist will gradually expose a person with Misophonia to triggering sounds. This is a counter conditioning measure for desensitizing the person to the sounds. This provocative measure is useful when the therapist is simultaneously guiding the person on how to deal with this. It is important to have this exposure in small intervals of time so that the person exposed is not overwhelmed or startled.
This therapy involves hours of counseling from the therapist. The therapist attempts to talk to the person with misophonia to get the person aware of his condition. This awareness can help shift the negative thought patterns to positive ones that may emerge amid an emotional hijacking of the brain.
It involves a group of people who suffer from Misophonia to gather and interact with each other. A person who suffers from Misophonia tends to stay socially isolated and ignore any interaction. This is a very harmful practice. Group therapy allows people to interact and indulge in necessary socialization. It helps a person feel less socially isolated and allows them to experience the aspect of the community. This practice has many positive results in boosting the confidence of people with Misophonia. When these individuals relate to each other, the interaction becomes easier and more meaningful.
Training to Refocus
This training involves indulging people who have Misophonia in various activities. Activities usually involve some physical activity. When people participate in sports, it helps them refocus their attention on the tasks put in front of them. Such a refocus of attention, when practiced over time, can help divert their attention when they experience a trigger. Although it can be very hard to do and so this method does not make any promises. Engaging In activities that refocus attention can train the brain to be less susceptible to distracting to triggers like eating sounds or breathing sounds.
This method requires the help of a therapist, psychologist, or counselor. The main role in this method relies solely on the therapist to make the person uncover the secrets to his reactions. This method allows the person with the disorder to make discoveries about the triggers he faces. These discoveries may challenge some of the assumptions the person has made about his fears of triggering sounds. This method opens the person to new perspectives and thoughts. This process is not easy, as it demands the person to separate trigger sounds from emotions and look at them each distinctively without associating the two. This is a fight against the impulses and can be very tough for people who suffer from severe Misophonia.
Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Misophonia Work?
It is important to note that Misophonia is an involuntary response. It is a reflexive emotion trigger to certain sounds particular to the person. Cognitive behavioral training helps in coping with the reactions to those triggers but not the triggers themselves. The trigger ranges from mild to high in different people, and the intensity may vary throughout their lives. These triggers will emerge in the presence of external stimuli (in this case, what the therapy can help you with is identifying the negative behavior patterns that follow those triggers.
CBT helps limit the emotional trauma that comes with this disorder. The complexities of the nervous system work in mysterious ways, and there has not been any deciphering of involuntary reflex actions. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is still very useful for people who suffer from Misophonia and its effects on daily life. Yes, some people may see it as a way of masking the problem, but it works.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is crucial when dealing with post-traumatic injuries to your psyche after you face a trigger. It has a transformative effect on your personality. Once successful, it can help you live a happy life. Therapies like consultation and exposure can equip you to face the triggers better. Spreading awareness of this problem can result in more research on it.
If you have Misophonia symptoms or know anyone who does, visit us at the Misophonia Cognitive Center and schedule a tele-appointment.