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CBT

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POPULAR ARTICLES

Crazy-Makers: Dealing with Passive-Aggressive People

Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

When You Have Been Betrayed

Struggling to Forgive: An Inability to Grieve

Happy Habits: 50 Suggestions

The Secret of Happiness: Let It Find You (But Make the Effort)

Excellence vs. Perfection

Depression is Not Sadness

Conflict in the Workplace

Motivation: Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic

20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem

7 Rules and 8 Methods for Responding to Passive-aggressive People

Promoting Healthy Behavior Change

10 Common Errors in CBT

What to Do When Your Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Marriage

Rejection Sensitivity, Irrational Jealousy and Impact on Relationships

For Women Only: How to Have the Relationship of Your Dreams

What to Do When Your Partner's Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Relationship

Making Attributions for a Healthier Attitude

Happiness is An Attitude

Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight

Guide to How to Set Achieveable Goals

The Effectiveness of Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment for Anxiety Disorders

Co-Dependency: An Issue of Control

The Pillars of the Self-Concept: Self-Esteem and Self-Efficacy

Catastrophe? Or Inconvenience?

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Audio Version of Article: Crazy-Makers: Passive-Aggressive People

Audio Version of Article: Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

Audio Version of Article: Happiness Is An Attitude

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Coping With Change: Psychological Flexibility

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Ending a Bad Relationship

I'm Depressed. I'm Overwhelmed. Where Do I Start?



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Cityscape Mindfulness

Change Yourself--Don't Wait for the World to Change

The Great Desert Mindfulness

Tropical Garden Mindfulness

Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight

Lies You Were Told

Probability and OCD

Choosing Happiness

Magic Bubbles for Children

Lotus Flower Relaxation

Cloud Castles for Children

Hot Air Balloon Motivation

All Audio Articles

PsychNotes September 2013

by Monica A. Frank, Ph.D.

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September 25, 2013

New Audio: DAILY MINDFULNESS PRACTICE--Walking

The above audio is part of a series of short mindfulness practice exercises to help train your brain to be more mindful or present focus. They are meant to be used frequently throughout the day. This audio is a simple focus on walking which is something we do in many ways in our daily life. You can practice mindfulness even when walking from one room to another.



September 24, 2013

Best Predictor of Treatment Outcome for Anxiety Disorders

A new client walked into my office and stated, “If you told me that standing on my head on the sidewalk would cure me of panic, I would do it.” In effect, she told me she was committed to doing whatever treatment required. Such a commitment is necessary for the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety disorders. Perhaps a person doesn't have to stand on their head on the sidewalk, but they certainly have to do some difficult things.

The best predictor for a successful treatment outcome is having completed at least one exposure (Glenn et al., 2013). Systematic exposure is a CBT term meaning a gradual introduction to a specific fear while using anxiety reduction techniques. The purpose is to help the person face a fear successfully.

Systematic exposure helps the person to not only learn to manage and reduce fear but it also helps the person to tolerate the anxiety itself. As the fear of the symptoms reduces, the ability to face fearful situations increases. Exposure needs to be done under controlled circumstances with therapeutic guidance because facing too great of a fear without preparation can cause sensitization, a worsening of the anxiety, rather than desensitization.

Once an individual has done one exposure, their confidence to face their fears increases which helps to engage in ongoing exposures. The more exposures they do, the more likely they will have a successful resolution to treatment.

Glenn, D., Golinelli, D., Rose, R.D., Roy-Byrne, P., Stein, M.B., Sullivan, G., Bystritksy, A., Sherbourne, C., and Craske, M.G. (2013). Who Gets the Most Out of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety Disorders? The Role of Treatment Dose and Patient Engagement. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 81, 639–649.



September 22, 2013 This audio is a meditation to view your path through life as unique and valuable. It helps with reducing focus on comparing to other's lives and creating an appreciation of your own.



September 19, 2013

New Audio: DAILY MINDFULNESS PRACTICE--Stretching

The above audio is part of a series of short mindfulness practice exercises to help train your brain to be more mindful or present focus. They are meant to be used frequently throughout the day. Mindfulness is not the same as relaxation. It is about learning to be aware of your present moment even if the moment is not particularly pleasant or comfortable. The more we learn to tolerate discomfort, the less discomfort influences our moods and behavior. Mindfulness can be done throughout the day in the many different activities of the day. This audio is a simple focus on stretching which is something we do in many ways in our daily life.



September 18, 2013

New Music Version of Audio: TROPICAL GARDEN MINDFULNESS

This audio creates the image of a beautiful tropical garden on a hot day. Although it can be used just for relaxation (for those who like warmth), it can also aid in learning to create mindfulness when the body may not be completely comfortable--in this instance, feeling the heat but focusing on the full experience of the garden.



September 15, 2013

New Audio: DAILY MINDFULNESS PRACTICE--An Itch

The above audio is part of a series of short mindfulness practice exercises to help train your brain to be more mindful or present focus. They are meant to be used frequently throughout the day.Mindfulness is not the same as relaxation. It is about learning to be aware of your present moment even if the moment is not particularly pleasant or comfortable. The more we learn to tolerate discomfort, the less discomfort influences our moods and behavior. This particular exercise is a beginning exercise to help learn to tolerate minor discomfort as well as generally creating greater awareness and mindfulness.



September 14, 2013

PsychNote: ACCEPTANCE AS THE BASIS FOR WISDOM?

Why is it that as people age and although they experience physical deterioration and loss, they generally report feeling better emotionally? What is this secret to happiness? What wisdom do they possess?

Wisdom is often associated with age. Typically, those people who learn from life experience as they age are seen as wise. However, what is it specifically that creates wisdom? Is it the life experience itself or is it what is learned from life experience? Certainly, many people have life experiences but do not learn from those experiences so wisdom must come from what is learned and the willingness to learn it.

Yet, what is it that people learn that allows them to use life experiences to cope better and be happier as they age? Researchers Shallcross and colleagues (2013) show that the ability to accept negative emotions improves with age. Generally, previous research has shown that people who have an acceptance attitude toward negative emotions will have less intense and more tolerable emotions.

What does it mean to accept negative emotions? People who accept anger, anxiety, sadness, and other emotions do not try to avoid those emotions. Nor do they feel it is unfair to have to experience these emotions. Whereas those who feel they shouldn't have to “suffer” emotions engage in avoidance behaviors which are more likely to lead to increased negative experiences which, in turn, create more negative emotions.

Therefore, perhaps wisdom is the ability to accept these emotions and not engage in maladaptive avoidance behaviors. As a result, such people are likely to feel greater contentment and happiness as they age.

The mindfulness practice exercises teach acceptance of various mood states.

Shallcross, A.J., Ford, B.Q., Floerke, V.A. And Mauss, I.B. (2013). Getting Better With Age: The Relationship Between Age, Acceptance, and Negative Affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,104, 734–749.



September 13, 2013

New Audio: DAILY MINDFULNESS PRACTICE--Sitting

The above audio is part of a series of short mindfulness practice exercises to help train your brain to be more mindful or present focus. They are meant to be used frequently throughout the day.Mindfulness is not the same as relaxation. It is about learning to be aware of your present moment even if the moment is not particularly pleasant or comfortable. The more we learn to tolerate discomfort, the less discomfort influences our moods and behavior. This particular exercise is a beginning exercise to help learn to tolerate minor discomfort as well as generally creating greater awareness and mindfulness.



September 9, 2013

New Audio: DAILY MINDFULNESS PRACTICE--Eating a Crunchy Vegetable

The above audio is part of a series of short mindfulness practice exercises to help train your brain to be more mindful or present focus. They are meant to be used frequently throughout the day.



September 7, 2013

DEMANDS VS. MINDFULNESS FOR ENHANCING PERFORMANCE

One of the best classes I had in college was my very last class in graduate school. I had already completed all the criteria for my degree and the class requirement was a literature review rather than an exam. Instead of worrying about needing to retain the knowledge for a grade I focused on the content of the class. As a result, I not only enjoyed the class more but I retained the information better than the classes where I scribbled down every comment the professor made.

All too often people focus on the outcome of their efforts rather than the effort itself. Achieving a good grade, making a sale, being elected to office, winning a game becomes more important than learning the material, concern for what's best for a client or constituent, or the physical challenge. Unfortunately, such an attitude is more likely to lead to maladaptive behaviors. In particular, individuals with an outcome-oriented attitude may be more likely to engage in unscrupulous behaviors such as cheating, to view others as a threat to their achievement or self-esteem, to have less intrinsic motivation, to prefer easy tasks over challenging tasks, and to readily quit in the face of failure (Crouzevialle and Butera, 2013).

Perhaps there is a greater tendency to react in these potentially self-destructive ways because not only is success deemed so important, but also because the focus on success causes a decline in performance by its impact on working memory. Just as I found I learned more in my final class when I wasn't worried about a grade, researchers Crouzevialle and Butera found that focusing on successful outcomes causes a decline in performance. Such a decline is caused because working memory only has a certain amount of space in the brain that can be used at any one time. If it is being used by other less relevant tasks such as worries about a grade, then it can't be used as well for retaining information.

So, what should you do to improve performance? Don't worry about the outcome as much! Instead, focus on the process itself. Whether you are studying for a test or competing athletically or preparing a work presentation, the more mindfully you focus on the immediate moment, the more effectively you use your resources thereby enhancing your opportunity for success.

Crouzevialle, M. and Butera, F. (2013). Performance-Approach Goals Deplete Working Memory and Impair Cognitive Performance. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 142, 666–678.



September 6, 2013

New Audio: DAILY MINDFULNESS PRACTICE--Doing the Dishes

The following is part of a series of short mindfulness practice exercises to help train your brain to be more mindful or present focus. They are meant to be used frequently throughout the day.



September 4, 2013

New Relaxation Audio: BOUNCING BALL MINDFULNESS

This relaxation for children (and the young at heart) describes following a bouncing ball on an adventure. It teaches children to be mindful of the sights and sounds of their experience. Mindfulness is often natural for children and this audio helps to enhance their ability to focus in a mindful way. It also teaches slow breathing and helps with relaxation.



September 3, 2013

New Cognitive Diary Training Example: SON DOESN'T DO WHAT I ASK

EVENT: My son doesn't take out the trash when I ask him to.

EMOTIONS: irritated, annoyed

DISTRESS RATING: 5—moderately upset but manageable

THOUGHTS: “I told him the garbage was piling up. He should know that I want him to take it out but he is just lazy and inconsiderate. I shouldn't even have to tell him!

CAN YOU IDENTIFY THE IRRATIONAL THINKING IN THIS EXAMPLE? There are at least 3 irrational beliefs.

HOW CAN YOU CHANGE THE THINKING? What is another way of thinking about the situation that won't cause the feelings of irritated and annoyed?

VIEW ANSWER



September 1, 2013 Although social anxiety is common, it can seriously interfere with the quality of life for some people. This audio helps you to challenge the thinking related to social anxiety. In particular, it helps you to think about rejection in a different way and to recognize that most social situations do not involve rejection. Also, it assists with understanding that when other people mistreat you it is because of their flaws, not because of you.

As with all cognitive therapy, if this audio applies to you, listening to it repeatedly will help you change your thinking. As you change your thinking about social situations, you will begin to approach social interaction in a different way. Also read: Why Are People Mean?



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