The father of CBT, the late Dr Aaron Beck, was fond of saying that ‘there is more to the surface than meets the eye’. What did he mean? Beck liked to illustrate his point by telling a story about an anxious and promiscuous client he was treating. Why was she anxious? Read on...
Negative, unhelpful and fearful thinking patterns can breed a host of mental health problems, so why not aim to be a more calm, balanced thinker in 2023? My latest Southern Star column offers some cognitive tips to get you started.
Do you think and act in ways that are helpful – or unhelpful? What are the advantages and disadvantages to your thoughts, beliefs and behaviours? My latest column examines this simple but important cognitive exercise.
I never thought I would be talking about Vladimir Putin to make a point about mental health but, well, here we are. In this piece, I talk about how Putin blundered by buying into his own propaganda about Ukraine and how all of us should heed the message of CBT and learn to question our thoughts and beliefs.
"I’m useless", "People are selfish", "People can't be trusted" – my last column described how harmful core beliefs tend to be over-generalised statements about ourselves, others and the world. Negative core beliefs are invariably self-defeating; how can they be changed?
As children, we all develop certain ideas about ourselves, about others, about the world. These core beliefs can profoundly shape our lives – sometimes for the better (if you have positive core beliefs), sometimes for the worse (if you have negative core beliefs). Negative core beliefs are overgeneralised, rigid and prejudiced. They are not true. So why do they feel so true?
Since the global coronavirus outbreak, the sight of medical experts like Dr Tony Holohan and Dr Anthony Fauci on our TV screens has become a familiar one. Both men appear serious and concerned but calm; informed, but quick to emphasise what they don't know (unlike, for instance, Donald Trump). My latest Southern Star column argues we can all benefit by developing these thinking habits – essentially, learning to think like a scientist.
When life is good, you’re more optimistic, more confident, more open to trying new things. But when you’re down, you’re more pessimistic, less confident, less open to actions that might ease your plight. In last week's Southern Star, I explained how a vicious circle is at the heart of most emotional problems and how, through effort and awareness, you can turn that unhelpful, vicious circle into a helpful, virtuous circle.