CBT-introduction+List of principles

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CBT-introduction+List of principles

Post  Mark on Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:15 pm

"CBT works on the principle that our emotional upsets arise from the way we interpret the things that happen to us. It is the type of thoughts that we have in any given situation that leads to us feeling the way we do."

Imagine that you have cooked dinner for a friend, who is usually very reliable. An hour after she was due to arrive, there is still no sign and you have received no phone call.

How would you react to this?


“How dare she do this to me! She is so inconsiderate and rude!” (Angry)
Possible behaviour: Tell her off or act chilly when she arrives

“She probably didn't want to come because she doesn't really like me. I'm such a loser.” (Depressed)
Possible behaviour: Withdraw from people and stop asking them over

“What if she's had an accident? She could be seriously hurt.”(Anxious)
Possible behaviour: Phone local hospitals

“I expect she's stuck in traffic. At least I have extra time to prepare dinner” (Relieved)
Possible behaviour: Continue preparing dinner

Last edited by Admin on Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:23 pm; edited 4 times in total


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CBT List of Principles:

Post  Mark on Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:17 pm


The Big Four Types of Negative Thinking

All-or-Nothing Thinking. "I have to do things perfectly, because anything less than perfect is a failure."

Disqualifying the Positives. "Life feels like one disappointment after another."

Negative Self-Labeling. "I feel like a failure. I'm flawed. If people knew the real me, they wouldn't like me."

Catastrophizing. "If something is going to happen, it'll probably be the worst case scenario."

Other Common Types of Negative Thinking

Mind Reading. "I can tell people don't like me because of the way they behave."

Should Statements. "People should be fair. If I'm nice to them, they should be nice back."

Excessive Need for Approval. "I can only be happy if people like me. If someone is upset, it's probably my fault."

Disqualifying the Present. "I'll relax later. But first I have to rush to finish this."

Dwelling on Pain. “If I dwell on why I’m unhappy and think about what went wrong, maybe I’ll feel better.” Alternately, “If I worry enough about my problem, maybe I will feel better.”

Pessimism. “Life is a struggle. I don’t think we are meant to be happy. I don’t trust people who are happy. If something good happens in my life, I usually have to pay for it with something bad.”


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Re: CBT-introduction+List of principles

Post  Mark on Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:30 am

another from:

Negative Thinking.

Mostly we don't question our thinking; it is something that the head does automatically. Sometimes we are quite happy with our thoughts and sometimes we feel we have no control over them at all. They can appear weird, out of context, unwanted, keep us awake at night and intrude during the day. Thoughts can give us pictures in our head and lead to some very unpleasant and uncomfortable feelings.

When we are depressed thoughts can be "biased" in a particularly negative direction. This means our thinking tends to pick up on the negatives even if we don't want it to. This can be the negatives about ourself, other people and the world in general. It can mean that we focus on the negative even when there is evidence to the contrary.

Thinking tends to fall into typical Thinking Styles as described below. Do you recognise any of these?

You think that because an unpleasant thing happened to you once, it will ALWAYS happen to you. For example, a young man who felt lonely, unwanted and rejected thought that he would never be able to have a girlfriend as girls did not find him attractive. He had asked a girl from the office out and she turned him down. This meant that all other girls he invited out would do the same thing.

Words that indicate you may be overgeneralising are all, every, none, never, always, everybody, everything and nobody.

When you call yourself "Stupid" or "Totally Hopeless" or a "Failure" you are using the extreme form of overgeneralisation, that is you give yourself a GENERAL LABEL on the basis of perhaps one mistake or one failure. This can mean that you are not able to see yourself any other way.

You think that YOU are solely responsible for a negative or unpleasant event, when often there is little basis for this conclusion in fact. A mother of two thinks that her children are quarrelling about which programme to watch on television because she is inadequate. A passer-by frowns and you think "he finds me disgusting". People do not appear to be enjoying themselves very much at a party and you think: "it is my fault, I am not entertaining enough".

Personalising gives you an unrealistic sense of responsibility and therefore makes you unnecessarily guilty. You carry the weight for everything that goes wrong; everything is related to some deficiency or inadequacy in yourself. You overlook the part that others may have played and you are confusing the possibility that you may have only contributed to what has happened with the belief that it is all your fault.

This refers to the tendency to evaluate yourself, other people and situations in EXTREME terms. Watch out for the either/or reasoning. Either you succeed at everything OR you are a failure; either you work hard at all times OR you are lazy; either you are a good mother at all times OR you are a bad mother.

Black and White Thinking always goes the same way. You usually see others as white and you as black. Other people are happy and you are not; other people cope and you can't; other people are successful and you are not. Black and White Thinking does not allow for degrees of anything: " I am a total failure", " I am totally stupid". " This is unrealistic because people or situations are rarely totally one thing or another. It leads to perfectionism and the likelihood of never quite meeting the stringent demands that you make upon yourself, thus getting caught in a "no win" situation.

You jump to a negative conclusion when there is insufficient evidence to do so, sometimes when there is no evidence at all.
A young woman took her baby to her doctor's surgery for inoculation. She concluded that "all the other Mums there were looking down on me. They thought I was a bad mother". She was not able to give any evidence to support this conclusion, except that she was the youngest mother in the waiting room. She was so convinced that her assumption was correct that she did not bother to query it. Suppose your friend does not telephone you back and you conclude "he or she finds me boring", only to discover later that your message was not passed on.

Jumping to negative conclusions can influence how you behave. You arrange to meet some people at a certain time and they are late so that you have to wait 15 minutes. You feel sad as you say to yourself; "they don't care for me, they don't think very much of me". When they finally arrive you are very quiet and restrained and do not take part in the conversation. There could well be different, less depressing reasons why they were late, but your behaviour might perhaps provoke a negative reaction from your friends and thus appear to validate your conclusion.

Sometimes you can jump to unrealistic negative conclusions about the future, as if you had a crystal ball in which you see only misfortunes. Depressed clients often think "I know I won't get better. This is going to go on and on". Others predict that they will lose all their friends, that financial disaster is going to strike, that they will lose their job, or that they will never enjoy anything any more. This negatively biased fortune-telling can only increase your depressed feelings and create intense hopelessness regarding the future. It can even make you feel that life is not worth living and stop you from adopting a problem-solving attitude. An accountant created the following scenario in his mind: "I'm going to lose my job and shall not be able to support my family or pay my mortgage. The debt collectors will be knocking at the door. I will be put in prison where I will be maltreated". This man, seriously thought that he would be better off dead as he was convinced that his fortune-telling was correct.

You say to yourself: "I made a dreadful mistake" or "this is terrible! I will never be able to show my face again" or "I am ruined". You are likely to be blowing a mistake or a fault out of proportion while devaluing the positive aspects of your behaviour or of the situation. You are MAGNIFYING your faults or liabilities and MINIMISING your qualities. This biased view leads to low self-esteem and lack of confidence in oneself.

Would you agree with the beautiful model who thought she was unpresentable because she had a small spot on her chin or would you condemn out of court a child's careful essay because of the one spelling mistake? Catastrophising is like that - not seeing all the positive aspects because of the minor negative ones.

This often takes the form of not only of ignoring positive or neutral aspects of situations and concentrating on the negative aspect, but worse, of changing the positive into the negative. See whether you recognise any of these examples: somebody pays you a compliment on your appearance and you think "they are just saying that because they think I look really awful", your boss tells you that you are doing a really good job and you think "he thinks that I am incompetent and that jollying me on will help".

A young woman went back to work after a few weeks of illness and her colleagues enquired after her health and tried to ease her workload. She said to herself. "Because I have been ill, they don't think I can do my job anymore". A middle-aged executive is promoted to a job in a new office and he thinks "They want rid of me". A student who gets one B grade and three A grades in her examinations feels depressed as she says to herself: "I'm a failure; I'm not bright enough, as I always knew".

This way of thinking derives from a deep-seated deprecating view of oneself. Disqualifying the positive and pulling the negative out of every situation helps confirm this view and create intense misery.

You are like a very implacable task-master, with arbitrary and impossible rules both for yourself and others. "I should have been able to do that", "I should have known how she felt", "People should keep their promises", "He should have arrived on time" are the types of statements which create constant disappointment with oneself, guilt, shame, frustration and anger with others. Such excessively high standards and expectations are not compatible with our all-too-human day-to day performance and, therefore, imply continual failure and bad feelings. Should statements lead to feelings of guilt if you have not been able to reach a particular standard you have set yourself.

Where you believe you know that another is thinking about you in some way and that you know what those thoughts are. An example might be having to do tasks which may be looked at by others "they are thinking I can't do this". It is where you believe you know the thoughts of another person in a given situation.

Strong feelings and emotions start as thinking in certain ways and this can happen despite the fact we know its irrational. The problem is that, at times, we may not try to get our more rational minds to over rule our feelings. Given the strength of these we may take the view "I feel it, therefore it must be true". "Going to a party": I feel frightened, therefore this situation is dangerous and threatening.

Feeling Anxious: I feel as if I will have a heart attack, therefore I will.

Making a mistake: I feel stupid, therefore I am stupid.

In this situation we have difficulties in believing that others have a different view to our own. The way we see things must be the way they see things. E.g. "I think I am failure, so they will think I am a failure". We can also think that because we believe in certain things or hold certain standards then others must as well.


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