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Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Workshop
-About Change
-Common Obstacles
-CBT Overview
-CBT Principles in Action
-Thoughts Cause Feelings
-Automatic Thoughts
-Unrealistic Thoughts
-Depression Affects Thinking
-Thinking Styles
-Thinking Styles Example
-Summary of Principles
-Keeping an Automatic Thought Record
-Thoughts and Feelings
-Step #1: Record Info
-Step #2: Rate Info
-Step #3: Respond to Info
-Helen's Responses
-Step #4: Get Results
-Appropriate Expectations

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Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Workshop

Sometimes Our Thoughts Are Not Realistic

We have never really been taught to evaluate how we think about things. We just simply think things. In fact, lots of thoughts go swimming around in our minds all the time. Sometimes we notice them, but many times we do not. We certainly don't tend to grab a thought and say to ourselves, "Is that thought realistic?" We generally just assume that all our thoughts are realistic and accurate.

You may have gathered from the information presented so far that CBT suggests we don't always think in realistic ways. Sometimes our thoughts are exaggerated, sometimes they are self-defeating, sometimes they reflect our worst fears, and sometimes they are not as fair or balanced as they could be.

One of the most interesting things about CBT is that we can change how we feel by changing the way we think. That may sound a bit strange at first, but it's true! We can actually improve our mood by modifying our automatic thoughts. We will learn how to do that shortly.

If you find yourself thinking, "There's nothing wrong with my thinking," I would like to ask you to stick with this discussion for a little while longer and then see what you think. The concepts of CBT can take a little getting used to, but if you hang with it and work on applying the principles to your own life, you just may be surprised at how you can modify your thinking and affect your mood all at the same time.

Automatic Thoughts
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Depression Affects Thinking



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This page was last updated on June 23, 2010

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