Friday, December 31, 2010

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Dummies by Branch & Wilson

Since college I have been interested in reading popular psychology and self-help. Research evidence shows that an effective therapy is CBT. It is a problem-solving approach that allows you to develop skills and enables you to ultimately become your own therapist. CBT focuses on the present. While it may use past experiences to understand current ways of behaving, the focus is on current problems and the ways in which your thinking and acting perpetuate your problems.

The central concept is that you feel the way you think. You can change the way you feel by changing the way you think. The authors help you identify errors in thinking and help you establish a plan to change your thinking. Forms are provided on which you can record your trigger events, your emotions and your thoughts. This helps you to see if your thoughts accurately represent reality. There is a strategy to help you train your mind to think in a healthy manner that allows you to have fewer problems. You are taught how to concentrate and focus. Some common problems such as depression, fear, and anxiety are dealt with specifically.
CBT is goal oriented. You are asked to establish goals and then determine how your thinking relates to them. Recording your progress is encouraged and the long range benefits of healthy thinking are revealed.
While not “Christian,” CBT is based on a principle that parallels Proverbs 23:7 (KJV). CBT also gives you great tools to obey Rom. 12:2, renewing the mind, and 2 Cor. 10:3-4, abolishing strongholds. The strategy the authors outline could be easily and effectively applied to spiritual growth for Christians.

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