Every time you feel depressed about something, try to identify a corresponding negative thought you had just prior to and during the depression. Because these thoughts have actually created your bad mood, by learning to restructure them, you can change your mood.
A poor self-image is the magnifying glass that can transform a trivial mistake or an imperfection into an overwhelming symbol of personal defeat.
The first principle of cognitive therapy is that all your moods are created by your ‘cognitions,’ or thoughts. A cognition refers to the way you look at things – your perceptions, mental attitudes, and beliefs. It includes the way you interpret things – what you say. about something or someone to yourself.
Negative thinking patterns can be immensely deceptive and persuasive, and change is rarely easy. But with patience and persistence, I believe that nearly all individuals suffering from depression can improve and experience a sense of joy and self-esteem once again.
Depression has been called the world’s number one public health problem. In fact, depression is so widespread it is considered the common cold of psychiatric disturbances. But there is a grim difference between depression and a cold. Depression can kill you.
Therapy is not to ‘talk about’ things, but to change the person’s life, and to relieve suffering, such as depression, anxiety, or relationship problems.
Cognitive therapy is a fast-acting technology of mood modification that you can learn to apply on your own. It can help you eliminate the symptoms and experience personal growth so you can minimize future upsets and cope with depression more effectively in the future.
People who are prone to anxiety are nearly always people-pleasers who fear conflict and negative feelings like anger. When you feel upset, you sweep your problems under the rug because you don’t want to upset anyone. You do this so quickly and automatically that you’re not even aware you’re doing it.
Cognitive therapy is based on the idea that when you change the way you think, you can change the way you feel and behave. In other words, if we can learn to think about other people in a more positive and realistic way, it will be far easier to resolve conflicts and develop rewarding personal and professional relationships.
Depression can seem worse than terminal cancer, because most cancer patients feel loved and they have hope and self-esteem.
Perfectionism becomes a badge of honor with you playing the part of the suffering hero.
Kindness is the cause of all anxiety.
When you change the way you think, you can change the way you feel.
The stereotype of psychotherapy portrayed in popular books and movies is lying on the couch and saying whatever comes into your mind, while a kindly psychoanalyst listens and nods knowingly from time to time. After years and years, something wonderful is supposed to happen.
Powerful new drug-free treatments have been developed for depression and for every conceivable type of anxiety, such as chronic worrying, shyness, public speaking anxiety, test anxiety, phobias, and panic attacks. The goal of the treatment is not just partial improvement but full recovery.
It’s very rare to have a patient who isn’t absolutely delighted when you say, ‘I read your feedback. The session didn’t go well. You actually got more upset, and I made about three really horrible errors.’ If you do that from the heart and not as a gimmick, boy, it’s a wonderful thing.
Most mental health professionals, including clinicians and researchers, endorse the deficit theory. They’re convinced that we wage war simply because we don’t know how to make love. We desperately want loving, satisfying relationships but lack the skills we need to develop them.
One of the most interesting things about the cognitive theory is the idea that anger and interpersonal conflict ultimately result from a mental con. In other words, you’re telling yourself things that aren’t entirely true when you’re fighting with someone.
That’s one of the peculiar things about bad moods – we often fool ourselves and create misery by telling ourselves things that simply are not true.
There is no standard ‘therapeutic process,’ since there are so many different schools of therapy.
I had the fear of heights when I was young, along with many other fears and phobias, including the fear of dogs, bees, horses, and blood.
What saddens me is seeing patients who have been going to therapy for years and years with no change, but they keep going to the same therapist. To me, that’s not right
Most people do surprisingly poorly when dealing with a relative who is hurting, depressed, or anxious – we get defensive and try to solve the problem rather than finding the truth in what the person is saying.
Most therapists do not appear to know how to pinpoint and reverse therapeutic resistance – to head it off at the pass. Instead, they try to persuade the patient to change, or to do the psychotherapy homework, while the patient resists and ‘yes-butts’ the therapist. The therapist ends up feeling frustrated and resentful, and doing all the work.
I’m all for ‘tools,’ not ‘schools,’ of therapy. To me, the schools of therapy compete much like religions, or even cults, all claiming to know the cause and to have the best method for treating people.
There is no ‘ultimate goal of therapy.’ Thinking there is some ultimate or universal goal of therapy is one of the most fundamental errors of our field. To me, that concept is rather arrogant, as if therapists were some kind of spiritual experts who knew what human beings are supposed to be like.
Learning to accept failure on multiple level is, to my way of thinking, the key to become a world-class therapist. But that means humility, and setting your ego aside, while you develop superb new technical skills.
Practically everybody knows what it’s like to feel anxious, worried, nervous, afraid, uptight, or panicky. Often, anxiety is just a nuisance, but sometimes it can cripple you and prevent you from doing what you really want with your life. But I have some great news for you: You can change the way you feel.
Depression is an illness and not anecessary part of healthy living.
I have been amazed by the interest in cognitive behavioral therapy that has developed since ‘Feeling Good’ was first published in 1980. At that time, very few people had heard of cognitive therapy.
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