Positive data logs padesky 1994 are systematically

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Positive data logs (Padesky, 1994) are systematically compiled lists of positive experi- ences that serve to build new, more constructive belief systems and that challenge old, less helpful perspectives.
For example, Rosie collected information that was consistent with a new possibility: ‘I am an attractive person’. First, she compiled a list of qualities which she found attractive in others: A ready smile Genuine warmth Kindness Tolerance Fairness. Rosie was interested that her list did not contain descriptions of physical appearance, and she reflected that others might share similar views. She used this list as a checklist and noted each time she became aware that she fulfilled one of her criteria, or when someone paid her a compliment indicating that she was attractive. At first, it was difficult to recognise the positives and she needed encouragement to continue to keep the log, but, with practice, Rosie became more adept at noticing compliments and achievements. In this way she both collected information to help her construct a new belief system and she developed the skill of noticing positive events. This technique is not a fundamentally new strategy but more an elaboration of the datacol- lecting exercises that we use in traditional CBT. However, it is generally more effortful for your client and will span a longer period. Continuum work or ‘ scaling ’ (Pretzer, 1990) is a strategy for helping clients combat an unhelpful dichotomous thinking style. In classic CBT, we often help clients recognise their ‘allornothing’ thinking and prompt them to take stock of the range of possibilities linking the extremes. Continuum work builds on this and involves drawing out the spectrum that lies between the extremes, discussing and weighing up the validity of an ‘allornothing’ per- spective (this is also discussed in Chapter 8 ). In Rosie’s case, she held a dichotomy of ‘ugly or attractive’ and, unless she was given a very unam- biguous message that she was attractive, she perceived comments as confirming that she was ugly. In therapy, she began to realise a continuum of attractiveness existed and that it included more than phys- ical appearance.
Historical logs (Young, 1984) are retrospective thought records. Key incidents from the past are reevaluated in a systematic way, reviewing the historical reasons why a belief might have seemed compelling and why its validity might now be doubted. Rosie dated her belief that she was ugly to several incidents from her past, including an incident at age eight when a group of children surrounded her and chanted that she was ‘repulsive’. She reflected on why it was that she believed them at the time: I was overweight and my parents never did anything but criticise me. Now, however, she could use her ‘wise mind’ to challenge the conclusion she drew as an eight-year- old: I was a regular-looking, slightly chubby girl who was scapegoated by a group of kids who knew no better.

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