Catching negative thoughts can be difficult as it is often something that we

Catching negative thoughts can be difficult as it is

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Catching negative thoughts can be difficult as it is often something that we are not used to doing. For that reason, you might need to practice this first stage a few times.
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56 Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust CBT Skills Training Book Wellbeing Services In order to help you catch your thoughts, ask yourself the following sorts of questions: What were you doing? What were you telling yourself? Who were you with? What does it say about you if it’s true? Where were you? What is the worst thing that went through your mind? Some points to bear in mind when you are trying to catch your NATs: They are short and specific They occur extremely quickly after the event They can occur as words or images They seem reasonable at the time They do not arise from careful thought or in a logical series of steps Step Two: Looking for the Evidence After catching your NATs, the next stage is to challenge the ‘Hot Thought’. Write down the evidence for and against the hot thought You are looking just for facts not opinions. Think of this a little like being a prosecution and defence counsel in a court hearing. Evidence will be given from both sides to find the truth. To help you when you are looking for evidence, you might want to ask questions such as: If my friend or someone else was having this type of thought, what would I say to them? If I wasn’t anxious or low, how would I look at the situation? Is there any other way of looking at the situation? What is certain about this situation? If I believe this thought to be 80% true, what is the 20% that suggests I don’t believe the thought to be completely true? Are there any similar previous experiences, which I can learn from?
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57 Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust CBT Skills Training Book Wellbeing Services Court Case Drama Imagine you are a judge in a court case. The defendant is on trial for shop lifting. He seems very convincing stating his innocence that “I didn’t do it”. The prosecution has CCTV footage of the defendant stealing an item of clothing from the shop. What evidence do you think the judge will use to make their decision, and what do you think the outcome will be? Thought challenging is also like being the judge in your own court case. The defendant is your negative automatic thought, for example “everyone hates me”. When presenting the evidence that supports this, how reliable and robust is it? “Everyone hates me, I just know it” is that good, strong enough evidence? Consider all the evidence and create your own verdict by using an evidence based alternative thought. Step Three: Finding an Evidence Based/Alternative Thought Finally you need to create a new alternative thought, based on the evidence created at Stage 2.
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