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CBT – So, what’s with all of these acronyms? Have we become a lazy society just using the initials of the words and titles or simply a population of creativity? Yes, creating words that are lengthy and complex and often most have no idea what they mean. So then applying the initial to shorten it and it is all difficult for the observers and often simply give up.

Right now, we will explore the complex, interesting process of this common terminology titled CBT or Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.

What is it?

COGNITIVE or COGNITIONS – are thoughts, ideas and images one has in response to an event.

Who uses it?

Processes of CBT can be used within the roles of a teacher, consultant, advisor, devil’s advocate, supporter, role model, encourager, facilitator and for the viewers, counsellor and coach with some mentors who like to revise that which they have already learned. Actually, everybody uses CBT even parents when they’re trying to get their kids to do something. Get into their minds, their thoughts and you’re in their head already anyway.

Where is this taking place?

Within the Schemata – the beliefs, attitudes, assumptions, expectations used to classify, interpret, evaluate, assign meaning to each event.


Automatic thoughts – occur continuously –

Ask – what was going through your mind when you saw that?

What emotion were you feeling? What if the thought wasn’t true?

Cognitive distortions – errors in rational thinking




Learning through teaching – we all learn something different every single day; when we teach that which holds true to us, we teach it in a different way to the way in which the person receiving the lesson understood.

Identifying and challenging automatic thoughts, maladaptive rules, cognitive errors

Changing the rules – where is the evidence? How much do you believe that to be true?

Disputation – challenging irrational statements- where is the evidence that the thought was true? Challenging – I dispute that. When you said you were going to stop smoking, which part of you believed that to be true or are you just considering it?

Deliberate exaggeration – So you will stop doing that for the rest of your entire life?

Evaluate thoughts/change thinking – Reframing – let’s look at it this way, from this perspective.

Decatastrophizing – counter thinking in ‘worst possible’ terms

Self-monitoring – counting, recording automatic thoughts and keeping a log book.

Changing the rules – unrealistic; maladaptive; irrational; dysfunctional – pain versus pleasure

Use of imagery – rational emotive imagery – so busy talking – difficulty experiencing emotions associated. Stop or pause the client and say: “Picture this…………….”

What would this look like……………….

Imagine this………………….

What type of words would you feel comfortable using?


Role-playing – show me what that would look like. Have the client stand up in front of a few more chairs or bring in other staff members for them to practise speaking in front of an audience.

Stand on a chair and become the person’s parent or abusive husband or partner, sorry. If a couple come along for counselling and one is more dominating than the other, give the more gentle one permission to use loud language similar to their partner if that’s what they do.

Diversion techniques: Breathing techniques; distraction with nature; comedy/humour; Meditation – visualisation imagery.
Google 50 strategies to beat anxiety eg take a bath, cuddle a pet, etc ……. HANDOUT

Risk-taking and shame-attacking exercises (a perfectionist not doing something perfectly)
Relaxation techniques – book a massage – NOT with you. A little coaching message her:


REBT: Rational Emotional Behavioural Therapy 

REBT is the pioneering form of cognitive behaviour therapy developed by Dr. Albert Ellis in 1955. REBT is an action-oriented approach to managing cognitive, emotional, and behavioural disturbances.

According to REBT, it is largely our thinking about events that leads to emotional and behavioural upset.

Ask: Is that a rational thought? How much do you believe that to be true? What if it wasn’t true? All gently please; this pressure occurs after rapport has been built…

A-B-C sequence (Activating event – Belief – Consequence) – homework – Disputation (page prior)

Any examples here? Let’s use me eating chips at night. The activating event: I want chips, The belief around this activating event of eating chips at night: I need chips, I love to feel that crunch in my mouth, I need the salt, my body wants them; I can if I want to. And so…. The consequence is – I carry excess weight.

Sooooo who feels like chips now?

Use this format with many many examples, excuses, beliefs, ideas, promises to oneself about what we want to do, be, study, have, whatever.

Working with clients, not on techniques – on results

Beliefs give experiences and shape who we are; beliefs are our identity (Maslow’s Hierarchy)

You cannot create something that doesn’t already exist:

Power of thought: “Don’t think of a pink elephant” or don’t think of a red Ferrari. I won’t ask you to go get me a glass of water.

The human brain makes associations with pictures. The simple wiring in the reptilian brain which we were talking about in another session has parasympathetic arousal wiring – ancient wiring that is still running while you’re asleep, hence you dream.

Parasympathetic relates to the part of the autonomic nervous system which balances the action of the sympathetic nerves. It consists of nerves arising from the brain and the lower end of the spinal cord and supplying the internal organs, blood vessels, and glands.

Negative commands – brain doesn’t decipher – brain thinks in pictures; creates positive commands.

Hence why the power of visualisation works when we view that which we want every day. Not what we don’t want.

Every time you speak you are influencing people’s thinking.
Be mindful of this when you are issuing out homework as a therapist.
Homework: Positive affirmations; journal writing eg 100 Gratitudes to read and then do.

HANDOUT….. ‘Your 100 Gratitudes – the Joy of saying Thanks’


NOW – when is now a good time to start using this

OR NOT – How about we get this started right now……………. or not

Movie – ‘Inception’ – communicating to the unconscious mind, within dreams – Leonardo DiCaprio

Transformational work – the more the more…..the more you learn this the more successful you will become. The more practise you have the more comfortable you will become. The more you want to learn, the more you will want to know, the more you will be able to practise on others and it is a very rewarding experience.


Notice ——–Imagine———Allow———–Possibly———-I wonder———-Perhaps———–Maybe————-You may or may not———-Perhaps you will or not —– Sometimes a part of you ———— How fortunate you are ————–Some people ——Many of you


Double bind – in business.

Which would you prefer? …Monday or Thursday; times are……. Cognitively, these are your choices, the one in control of your business, your own life.

Most people are searching for happiness in someone or something outside of themselves. That’s a fundamental mistake. Happiness is something that you are, and it comes from the way that you think.
— Dr. Wayne W. Dyer