It is generally agreed that cognitive-behavioral psychology is the fastest-growing orientation within the profession. There is also a rapidly-accumulating body of evidence that it actually works! Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, may be summarized as the study of the relationship between thinking, feeling, and behavior. Just as physical therapists can provide you with exercises to improve physical functioning, cognitive-behavioral therapists provide exercises to develop more effective psychological adjustments.
The information below was garnered from several different sources, and provides you with a variety of useful forms and worksheets so that you can use whatever combination of these CBT tools you find most helpful. The information referred to in any of the links below can be downloaded by clicking on the link and using the print command on your computer.
Cognitive-behavioral therapists frequently use a document called a thought record in order to examine just what goes on when we keep making those angry responses that keep getting us into trouble. Here is what one looks like, courtesy of www.getselfhelp.co.uk. They also provide a summary of the STOPP technique, which they describe as "CBT in a nutshell," and which can be summed up in one sentence: "Try not to act merely in the moment. Pull back from the situation. Take a wider view; compose yourself." Following is a hypothetical example of how the anxiety thought record form might be used to see a situation from a different perspective. Using the example of being suddenly cut off in traffic by another car, with the column headings in italics and one set of possible responses in standard type. You can practice using these forms for a number of other hypothetical situations, or situations that have actually made you angry in the past, in order to be prepared for a variety of possible situations in the future.
Situation: A car suddenly swerves in front of you and slows down, causing you to slam on your brakes in order to avoid hitting it.
Feelings, Emotions,: An increase in heartbeat and blood pressure, clenched jaw, faster breathing.
Emotions/Moods (rate 0-100%): Anger.
Physical Sensations & Reactions: Swearing, gripping the steering wheel
Unhelpful Thoughts/Images: Urge to speed up and pass the car in front of you, honk at the driver, make an angry gesture, and cut back in front of him.
What I Did/What I Could Do/What's the Best Response? (Re-Rate Emotion 0-100%) Realize that the emotion will pass in a few moments, but if you act on it the situation could escalate and possibly lead to serious complications.
Just as reading a book on surgery will not make you into a surgeon, and reading an exercise manual will not build muscles, merely reading a Blog posting on how to train yourself to avoid stress will not be enough to enable you to get rid of it. People who practice meditation do not hope to attain enlightenment merely by reading about it, Regular practice using the thought record for a variety of situations is the key to making CBT work for you
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