CBT Techniques to Beat Negative Thinking
Discover How Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Techniques Can Help You to Deal with Negative Thoughts and Problem Situations.
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a counselling or coaching model for helping people to deal with emotional difficulties or make practical changes in their life. It has been used successfully to help people suffering from stress, anxiety, depression and other difficulties. It can also be used if you have a negative mindset to help you think differently.
It rests on the view that how we think influences how we feel and how we act.
Thus if your mind is continually filled with negative thoughts, it is likely that you will feel stressed, anxious or depressed and you may well also find it difficult to act in positive constructive ways.
CBT works by looking at the negative thought patterns you are getting into and helping you to put them in perspective or balance them in a rational, sensible way.
Step by step you are shown how to think in a different way and you are also encouraged to test out ideas in practice so that you can see what works for you to help you feel better and act more constructively. Of course if anything doesn’t work for you, you can review it or change it. The model gives you the opportunity to try things out and work out the types of behavior and thinking which are most productive for you. It also gives you guidance about the types fo thinking patterns which can lead to difficulties and how to deal with each type.
What is the Difference Between CBT and Psychoanalysis?
CBT is very different from psychoanalysis (in fact both of the people who are seen as founding influences in CBT, Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck, devised their ideas partly because they saw that psychoanalytic techniques were often not effective and not validated by research evidence!).
In CBT you are not encouraged to undergo endless sessions of therapy to persuade you that all your problems are due to some complex, such as an Oedipal complex! Your dreams are not analyzed to look for hidden symbols and meanings!
CBT involves looking at your thoughts in real situations with common sense interpretations and evaluations of whether they are accurate. An example of a CBT method of analysis known as the ABC Model is given below.
The ABC Model
The ABC Model is one approach used in cognitive behavioral therapy to help you analyze your thoughts, feelings and actions. There are different versions of the Model but in the example below the common formula is use whereby in the acronym ‘ABC’, ‘A’ stands for ‘Activating Event’, ‘B’ stands for ‘Belief’ and ‘C’ stands for ‘Consequences’ (Emotional and Behavioral):
Example of the ABC Model:
Activating Event: I email a friend to suggest we meet in the evening. The evening comes and she has not responded.
Belief: She is usually reliable. I must have offended her so she’s ignored my email.
Consequences: I feel anxious (Emotional Consequence) and I decide not to contact her again and wait to hear from her instead (Behavoural Consequence).
In this example, using CBT techniques you could:
– Examine your belief to look for alternative explanations
– Assess their reasonableness
– Decide whether to try thinking and acting in a different way
– Try out your new way of thinking and acting and assess the results.
In the example above you would be committing what is known as a ‘thinking errror’ of ‘Mind Reading’ – imagining what another person is thinking when the evidence for that belief is quite limited.
Some other thinking errors that most of us commit from time to time are:
+ Catastrophizing or Fortune Telling – where you tend to expect the worst, whether or not it is actually likely to happen;
+ Over-Generalizing – Thinking or claiming that things always or never happen a certain way and forgotting about the exceptions;
+ Emotional Reasoning – Letting your emotions determine how you act without reflecting on practicalities or considering reasonable information that might be helpful to decision making;
+ Excessive Self Criticism – Continually putting yourself down (often more than you would others);
+ Making Demands – Using the language of ‘should’ or ‘must’. The world and others do not always obey this type of command!
+ Only Noticing or Remembering Negative Aspects – Forgetting good features or developments and continually focusing on those things which don’t go so well!
CBT provide a variety of techniques which you can use to adjust and balance your negative thinking patterns and deal with each of the thinking errors described above.
CBT Techniques to Beat Negative Thinking by life coach David Bonham-Carter is an informative and practical introduction to the ideas and uses of CBT, containing clear instructions and helpful exercises. The book is divided into 7 Sections covering different aspects of CBT. Each section includes practical exercises showing you how to use the CBT techniques that are described and there is an Appendix where 24 practical exercises are collated together for your easy use. Examples are included where appropriate to show you when the techniques might be useful and how to use them.
The topics covered by the different sections of the eBook and the CBT exercises in the Appendix are listed below:
Section 1: Introducing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
How CBT Started
– Albert Ellis
– Aaron Beck
Important Features of CBT
– Changing Ways of Thinking
– Changing Ways of Acting
– Balance and Realism
– Practical Techniques
– Problems that CBT Can Help With
How to Use this Book
– Exercises and Forms for Your Use
– Simple Initial Assessment
– Creating a Project Plan
– Adopting a Practical Constructive Approach
Section 2: Negative Automatic Thoughts & the ABC Model
Negative Automatic Thoughts
The ABC Model
Questioning Your Beliefs in a Reasonable Way
Using a Disputation Checklist: Example
Section 3: Problem Solving with the STAR Model
The STAR Model – Overview
Four Steps of the STAR Model
STAR Model Example
What Kind of Problems is the STAR Model Helpful for?
Section 4: Lifestyle Issues in Managing Stress & Anxiety
General Lifestyle Considerations
Achievement and Enjoyment
When Something is Better than Nothing
Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone
Rehearsing a Situation with Balancing Thoughts
Section 5: How to Identify Your Thinking Errors
Why is it Helpful to Record Thoughts?
Keeping a Thoughts Diary
Thoughts Diary – Example
Making Use of Your Diary
Balancing Thoughts – Example
Classifying Types of Distorted Thinking
7 Types of Thinking Error
– Mind Reading
– Catastrophising / Fortune Telling
– Emotional Reasoning
– Excessive Self Criticism
– Making Demands
– Only Noticing or Remembering Negative Aspects
Dealing with Each Type of Thinking Error
Section 6: Core Beliefs
What is a Core Belief?
How do Core Beliefs Develop?
Why is it Important to be Aware of Your Core Beliefs Thoughts?
When do Core Beliefs Create a Problem?
Ways of Discovering Your Core Beliefs
Balancing Thoughts – Example
Tackling Problem Core Beliefs
Section 7: Troubleshooting Problems with Making Changes
5 Common Questions Considered:-
– What if I am not sure I want to change?
– Why do I Keep Acting Stupidly?
– What if I see Benefits of Change but find it hard to Start or Maintain?
– What if I Find it Hard to Make Decisions?
– What if I Have No Choice in a Situation?
Appendix – Useful Exercises & Forms
1. Initial Assessment.
2. Project Plan
3. Balancing Thoughts
4. Disputation Checklist
5. ABC Analysis
6. Thought Stopping
7. STAR Model forms (Steps 1-4)
8. Typical Weekly Activities Record
9. Daily Activity Log
10. Safety Behaviors
12. Thoughts Diary (Format A)
13. Thoughts Diary (Format B)
14. Learning from my Diary.
15.Dealing with Particular Types of Thinking Error
16. Core Beliefs and Outcomes
17. Generating In-Between Beliefs
18. Putting Core Beliefs in Context
19. Experimenting with Healthier Beliefs
20. Trigger Situations
21. What Would I Say to a Friend?
22. What Would a Friend Say to Me?
23. Payoffs Exercise
24. Options Appraisal
About the Author
Written by Self-Help Author David Bonham-Carter who specialises in the use of CBT and other sensible techniques to help people deal with negative thinking patterns and address difficulties such as:
Self esteem and confidence issues
Stress, anxiety and assertiveness
Life change and motivation issues
Relationship and communication difficulties
David worked for many years in the UK as a social worker before becoming a professional life coach in private practice for several years. He now focuses on sharing useful coaching and CBT techniques through self-help guides.
Who is the Book for?
The book provides useful practical techniques and ideas for anyone who wants to learn essential ideas of CBT and exercises which can be helpful in dealing with a range of problems that involve negative thoughts such as:
Difficulties in making decisions
Lack of motivation
Worries about what other people think of you
Doubts about your own abilities.
The book is helpful both for individuals who want to learn about effective techniques for dealing with stress and negative thought patterns and for practitioners in coaching, counselling or related fields who are interested in learning useful CBT exercises and ideas.
As well as featuring the well known ABC Model mentioned above for helping clients to work through emotional difficulties, the book also presents in a clear and helpful way many specific ideas for dealing with negative thoughts and problematic situations, including David Bonham-Carter’s own CBT STAR Model problem solving technique for dealing with situations where similar anxious thoughts seem to recur.
The book is practical in style and easy to follow. The exercises in the Appendix are set out in a simple usable way. As you read the individual sections in the book you are given references to the relevant exercises which you can start to work through to take control of the issues and worries that you have.
There is also a useful introduction to general lifestyle issues that can help in managing stress and anxiety in Section 4 and Section 6 discusses how to identify and deal with core beliefs – deep rooted beliefs about yourself or the world which may be contributing to your negative thoughts and feelings.
The book ends with a section answering some common questions that people often have when struggling to make or implement effective changes.
The cost of the Guide including all the practical exercises is just $14.99! It is available online for immediate download in PDF format.
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