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What is cognitive restructuring in cognitive behavioral therapy?

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Cognitive restructuring refers to the process in cognitive behavioral therapy of identifying and changing inaccurate negative thoughts that contribute to the development of depression. This is done collaboratively between the patient and therapist, often in the form of a dialogue. For instance, a college student may have failed a math quiz and responded by saying, "That just proves I'm stupid." The therapist might ask if that's really what the test means. In order to help the student recognize the inaccuracy of the response, the therapist could ask what the student's overall grade is in math. If the student answers, "It's a B," the therapist can then point out that his answer shows he's not stupid because he couldn't be stupid and get a B. Then together they can explore ways to reframe what the performance on the quiz actually says. The "I'm stupid" response is an example of an automatic thought. Patients with depression may have automatic thoughts in response to certain situations. They're automatic in that they're spontaneous, negative, and don't come out of deliberate thinking or logic. These are often underpinned by a negative or dysfunctional assumption that is guiding the way patients view themselves, the situation, or the world around them.

SOURCES:

Psychiatry Clinics of North America : “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Mood Disorders: Efficacy, Moderators and Mediators.”

Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies” “Depression.” 

The Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences : “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression.” 

Clinical Psychology Review : “A meta-analysis of nonrandomized effectiveness studies on outpatient cognitive behavioral therapy for adult anxiety disorders.” 

Simon Rego, PsyD, chief psychologist, director of psychology training, and director, CBT training program, Montefiore Medical Center, New York.

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on February 9, 2018

SOURCES:

Psychiatry Clinics of North America : “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Mood Disorders: Efficacy, Moderators and Mediators.”

Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies” “Depression.” 

The Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences : “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression.” 

Clinical Psychology Review : “A meta-analysis of nonrandomized effectiveness studies on outpatient cognitive behavioral therapy for adult anxiety disorders.” 

Simon Rego, PsyD, chief psychologist, director of psychology training, and director, CBT training program, Montefiore Medical Center, New York.

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on February 9, 2018

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What are other examples of automatic thinking relative to cognitive behavioral therapy?

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