3 Principles of Cognitive Therapy


image“Don’t allow your mind to tell your heart what to do. The mind gives up easily” — Paulo Coelho

I always like to know the underlying beliefs behind a system.

It turns out cognitive therapy is based on a few key principles.

This gets interesting fast.

Ultimately, YOU control your mood by controlling what you think. No matter what happens in your life, you control the gap between stimulus and response.   How you filter or perceive the world then becomes the biggest factor in how you feel!

In Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, David Burns writes about three underlying principles in cognitive therapy.

3 Principles of Cognitive Therapy

Burns writes there are 3 key principles of cognitive thereapy:

  1. All your moods are created by your “cognitions,” or thoughts.
  2. When you are feeling depressed, your thoughts are dominated by a pervasive negativity.
  3. The negative thoughts which cause your emotional turmoil nearly always contain gross distortions.

Key Take Aways

Here are my key take aways:

  • Your thoughts create your moods.
  • When you’re depressed, your thoughts are mostly negative.
  • Negative thoughts contain distortion.

Personally, I’m not sure how the first principle explains moods from bio-chemistry (e.g. a sugar-high). Maybe the first assumption is that there are no bio-chemistry overrides currently in your system. In that case, then all your moods are created by your thoughts.

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