Cognitive Reframing: A Technique for Creating Change Hillary Fowler, September 5, 2011 * BSHS/322 * Amber Templain-Kuehn Cognitive-behavioral therapy is the theory that thoughts control behaviors and actions. It is the practice of teaching a client to change the way they think. In return it is believed in theory that their actions will change, behaviors will change, out looks will change. All these changes will happen without the outside influences being changed such as people, places, situations, or events. One of the large differences in cognitive-behavior therapy is the amount of trust between client and clinician.
The client must trust the clinician and believe in changing thoughts and thought process. If the client has doubts and is not willing to fully trust the thoughts may not be as easy changed or change at all. Another difference is that the client must do work on their own. The client is given goals to work on independently and between visits. The client must learn to control thoughts and focus in another direction even when the clinician is not present and guiding the client through. A client must lead their own thoughts and create a new direction to create different and new thoughts.
The clinician does not tell the client how to feel or how to think. The clinician asks questions and encourages the client to ask the same questions of themselves. The client must unlearn the way they once thought and reacted and relearn a new direction of thoughts and actions. For instance, a client must learn to look at a situation in a rational manner based only on fact without all the feeling and assumptions. While practicing cognitive-behavior therapy, a specific time of therapy or amount of sessions is predetermined by client and clinician at the start.
The time line can be shortened or increased if more or less time is needed. Goals are put into place and the act of changing thoughts is constantly worked on. Cognitive therapy is noted as being one of the quickest ways to obtain results (National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists, 2010). Crystal Boewer Cognitive reframing, also known as cognitive restricting, involves changing your thought process; in simple terms changing the way that you think. Cognitive reframing stemmed from Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck’s views of rational emotive therapy, irrational thoughts, cognitive therapy, and dysfunctional thoughts.
Cognitive reframing consists of paying attention to thoughts, recognizing irrational thoughts, challenging the thoughts, and learning replacement thoughts and behaviors. At times, individuals do not pay attention to their thoughts and act out on emotions. Individuals also listen to their thoughts and go with the first thought that comes to mind, which leads to a stressor. For example, Janice was given a new project to complete by her supervisor when she had yet to finish the previous one. The distorted thought Janice has is “oh no! I’ll never get these projects done in time!
I’m going to lose my job! ” Janice immediately jumps to the negative without considering her options. If Janice would have recognized her irrational thought and challenged it, she would have been thinking “I will talk to my supervisor today about my concerns with the projects and find out which one is the higher priority. I’m a responsible and valued employee; needing to re-prioritize would hardly be grounds for dismissal. (Four Steps to Managing Your Stress) In this thought, Janice is not panicking nor is she putting herself down by believing she would be fired.
She has confidence in herself, knows that she is a good employee, and reasons the initial thought by saying she will talk with her supervisor. In order for an individual to change their thought process through cognitive reframing, they have to ask themselves a series of questions such as: 1. What is the worst outcome of this situation? 2. Could this harm me or my family? 3. Can I handle the situation? 4. How can I change the situation? (Cognitive Restructuring: Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Attitude) You can start this change by writing down your thoughts on a piece of paper, along with your initial reaction to these thoughts.
Evaluate these thoughts and figure out if they’re rational or not. If they’re “dysfunctional” thoughts or “regular” thoughts. With these, you are practicing cognitive reframing and gaining control over your moods. Hillary Fowler Cognitive behavioral therapy techniques are an interesting set of exercises that help modify a person’s behavioral patterns. The behavioral patterns are modified in order to bring about positive changes in the personality. Cognitive therapy techniques are aimed at rectifying such deceptive cognition, thus, treating behavioral and emotional disorders.
The therapist and patient both work together to find out a solution for the problem or a way in which the difficult situation, if it occurs in the future can be sorted out. The therapist asks the patient to rehearse positive thoughts cognitively in order to make appropriate changes to the latter’s thought processes. Power of imagination proves to be of great use in such exercises. Modeling in when therapists perform role-playing exercises aimed at responding in a way that is helpful to overcome difficult situations. The patient makes use of this behavior of the therapist as a model in order to solve problems he/she comes across.
Aversive conditioning is another technique makes use of dissuasion so as to lessen the appeal of a maladaptive behavior. The patient while being engaged in a particular behavior or thought, for which he has to be treated, is exposed to an unpleasant stimulus. The unpleasant stimulus gets associated with these thoughts/behaviors and then the patient exhibits an aversive behavior towards them. CBT techniques described are useful from the point of view of solving many problems that occur from maladaptive thoughts and behaviors.
Therapists can use these cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to cure most of the problems related to psychology in a time-bound manner. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy techniques follow from the premise that maladaptive behaviors are learned, and therefore be unlearned as well. Among the behavioral techniques employed are training in both assertiveness and relaxation, and gradual desensitization to feared objects. Behavioral interventions have been demonstrated to be highly successful in the treatment of a broad range of specific problems including repetitive habits, anxiety, and depression.
Studies have shown that when a cognitive behavior therapy is used with antidepressant medication therapy, draws much better results than the psychotherapy alone. Nonetheless, CBT therapy alone can provide precious relief from depression and increases the positive responses of the subject. Marie Keys In addition to anxiety and depression cognitive reframing has also been shown help with alcohol and drug abuse and an array of emotional struggles ranging from minor life predicaments to major (Cognitive Reframing, 2011). The process of affectively applying ognitive reframing can be a very long process or a few short sentences can stimulate a new and more positive line of thinking that inspires change, give new perspective and enables the client to see a new path to follow. For example, this method can reframe a problem as an opportunity, a weakness as strength, impossibility as a distant possibility, or unkindness as lack of understanding (Reframing, 2011). Putting cognitive reframing into practice takes a very skilled professional who knows can affectively change faulty fundamental thinking into more rational, positive and realistic thinking (Rodriquez, 2009).
The goal is to enable an individual to approach life’s challenges with a new outlook. Some examples of cognitive reframing include: It does seem stupid, but it’s also stupid not to look again and see what else can be done. It’s not so much doing away with old ways as building a new and exciting future. We have shown we can argue well. Maybe this means we can also agree well. These examples show how to view a positive aspect of a negative situation by stimulating thoughts of a different than originally portrayed.
More complex and intricate issues may take more time in working with a client to create new habits, processes, and the development of reasonable deductions to become successful. Someone who has a history of ongoing depression or drug abuse would have a variety of issues that would need to be continually addressed and reframed by a skilled professional who knows how to analyze the issues that are presenting. References Cognitive Reframing (2011). Positive Thinking Principles. Retrieved from http://www. positive-thinking-principles. com/cognitive-reframing. html National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists. 2010). NACBT Online Headquarters. Retrieved from http://www. nacbt. org/ Rodriquez, Diana (2009). Cognitive Restructuring: Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Attitude. Retrieved on August 21, 2011 from http://www. everydayhealth. com/emotional-health/understanding/cognitive-restructuring. aspx Cognitive Restructuring. Domback, Mark. (2006) Retrieved August 21, 2011 from http://www. mentalhelp. net/poc/view_doc. php? type=doc&id=9350 Reframing (2011). Changing minds. Retrieved on August 26, 2011 from http://changingminds. org/techniques/general/reframing. html National