Psychology Tools for Living Well is a self-help course that teaches the principles and practice of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Not knowing why we feel the way we do can itself lead to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. One of the most helpful things about the CBT approach is the way that it breaks our problems down to make them understandable. The way CBT works is a bit like a firefighter taking the time to understand what is fuelling a fire before deciding where to direct their efforts. Or a mechanic confronted with a misfiring car – her understanding of how cars work means that she pays attention to the engine rather than the wheels. This chapter discusses: the way in which CBT attempts to understand problems, how problems persist, and making changes. It introduces cross-sectional, functional-analytic, and sequence methods of exploring problems, and it guides clients through an exploration of their own difficulties.
This is a Psychology Tools workbook chapter. Suggested uses include:
- Client handout – use as a psychoeducation and skills-development resource
- Discussion point – use to provoke a discussion and explore client beliefs
- Therapist learning tool – improve your familiarity with a psychological construct
- Teaching resource – use as a learning tool during training
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- Hoffman, S. G., Asnaani, A., Vonk, I. J. J., Sawyer, A. T., & Fang, A. (2012). The efficacy of cognitive behavioural therapy: a review of meta-analyses. Cognitive Therapy Research, 36, 427-440.
- Kahneman, D., & Egan, P. (2011). Thinking, fast and slow (Vol. 1). New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
- Koenig, J. The dictionary of obscure sorrows. Retrieved from http://www.dictionaryofobscuresorrows.com/.
- Padesky, C. A. (1990). Schema as self-prejudice. International Cognitive Therapy Newsletter, 6(1), 6-7.
- Watts, S. E., Turnell, A., Kladnitski, N., Newby, J. M., & Andrews, G. (2015). Treatment-as-usual (TAU) is anything but usual: A meta-analysis of CBT versus TAU for anxiety and depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 175, 152-167.
- Yudkowski, E. Fundamental question of rationality. Retrieved from: https://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Fundamental_Question_of_Rationality