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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I have read some major doctors books and 4 of them were CBT books.

I have a question about negative thoughts though:

Famous Richard Carlson says to recognize when a negative thought comes up, and to treat it like this a negative thought that it is going to pass by.

CBT books on the other hand say that I have to write down the negative thought, challenge it and replace it with a rational thought.

Well what do you think is the best approach: ignoring the negative thought or write it down, analyze it, challenge it and replace it?

Also in CBT, do I have to write everything down? Why I cannot do it orally, since I have very good memory.

Thanks
 

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im new to this whole social anxiety thing, ive had this problem for a couple years now and just realized that i have SA...so im not an expert when i say this, but i think that you should practice both depending on how important each situation is. both techniques could be useful in their own way.

me personally i would like to ignore it, because when you write down that negative thought you are dwelling on it and thinking about it more than you should...so it could worsen our problems. where as if you ignore it, you dont think about it anymore and try to think of positive/funny things to say.

but i believe there are some good things to the other approach as well. by writing down your neg thought and replacing it with a pos thought teaches your brain how to generate good thoughts instead of bad ones.

just my thoughts...
 

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For me ignoring the negative thought does not work. It will simply return again. Negative thoughts are irrational and need be replaced by rational thoughts which are in fact more truthful and positive, and more powerful than the negative thoughts.
 

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Hello, I have read some major doctors books and 4 of them were CBT books.

I have a question about negative thoughts though:

Famous Richard Carlson says to recognize when a negative thought comes up, and to treat it like this a negative thought that it is going to pass by.

CBT books on the other hand say that I have to write down the negative thought, challenge it and replace it with a rational thought.

Well what do you think is the best approach: ignoring the negative thought or write it down, analyze it, challenge it and replace it?
I would suggest to experiment and see which one is best for you. Granted, I heard countering your automatic negative thoughts is recommended, but then again there is also ACT (which I don't know much about unfortunately). As for me, I prefer to get to the root of my automatic negative thoughts: core beliefs. I use Albert Ellis's REBT Self-Help Form and I have been able to counter my irrational beliefs. This allowed to go to several appointments (including a jury summon) and apply to a non-profit organization for volunteering with very minimal anxiety!

Also in CBT, do I have to write everything down? Why I cannot do it orally, since I have very good memory.
If your memory can record a ton of negative thoughts then you don't need to. You could also record it via audio recorder or video.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you very much for all your helpful replies.

I would suggest to experiment and see which one is best for you. Granted, I heard countering your automatic negative thoughts is recommended, but then again there is also ACT (which I don't know much about unfortunately). As for me, I prefer to get to the root of my automatic negative thoughts: core beliefs. I use Albert Ellis's REBT Self-Help Form and I have been able to counter my irrational beliefs. This allowed to go to several appointments (including a jury summon) and apply to a non-profit organization for volunteering with very minimal anxiety!
Thanks for this I wasn't aware of this form which looks excellent. I was using the TEA form from the book "Been there done that, DO THIS" which I have found practical. Do you have any book from Albert Ellis to recommend me so I get started?

If your memory can record a ton of negative thoughts then you don't need to. You could also record it via audio recorder or video.
Why, do I have to remember for ever the negative thoughts?

I believed that I should counter them and replace them with rational thoughts, not that I should remember them forever. Can you clarify?

TIA
 

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Thanks for this I wasn't aware of this form which looks excellent. I was using the TEA form from the book "Been there done that, DO THIS" which I have found practical. Do you have any book from Albert Ellis to recommend me so I get started?
You can go for "A Guide to Rational Living" or "How to Make Yourself Happy and Remarkably Less Disturbable." There are also other books he has written and he had a tendency to repeat himself, but those two I highly recommend.

Why, do I have to remember for ever the negative thoughts?

I believed that I should counter them and replace them with rational thoughts, not that I should remember them forever. Can you clarify?
I'm not saying you have to remember them forever, but at the beginning your irrational thoughts won't go away with just countering them once. The same irrational thoughts will re-appear repeatedly so it's good to counter them repeatedly. Of course, you can use what is called, "Coping Statements" which are cue cards where on one side you write down the irrational statement and at the other you write down your rational statement. That way you don't have to repeat the process and eventually it will become second nature.
 

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I don't understand it because what if the negative thought is rational?

Like, I'm obese. So if I think "I'm fat!" am I supposed to put down, "That is irrational. I'm a Barbie Girl" or something?
First of all, REBT and CBT use different terminologies and I'm more familiar with REBT which doesn't use the term "negative thinking." So I can't really help you in that department. However, I can show you what REBT would say.

The statement "I'm fat" isn't a problem in itself unless underneath that statement you believe "I absolutely shouldn't be fat" or "It's terrible to be fat." It's best to tackle those irrational beliefs.
 

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i would say try to replace it with an irrational thought. i can't just forget negative thoughts, because if i don't deal with them they stick in my head until i go crazy and have to ask someone else what they think.

so what i do is think through the irrational negative thought and decide why i feel that way, and then i replace it.
 

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i think that writing it down isnt for keeping it as a record. but more the fact that by going through the process and your brain seeing that you are writing it and combating it, it actually helps the brain "reprogram" itself. we learn more in life by doing, not listening. keeping it in your head is just a way to listen to yourself. but by writing, you are doing, and doing will help you learn.
just a little bit of application of theory from a personal management course i went on at work some time ago, there. hope it helps
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I don't understand it because what if the negative thought is rational?

Like, I'm obese. So if I think "I'm fat!" am I supposed to put down, "That is irrational. I'm a Barbie Girl" or something?
"I am fat" is not irrational.

Irrational & depressing are the thoughts that could initiate from "I am fat", like:

"I am fat and all my friends are fit. I am just a pig amongst them"

"I am fat and this is my destiny, I will never be fit in my life" (CBT errors: Jumping to conclusions & counter-productive motivation)
 
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