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Sport Psych


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?


Panic Assistance

Motivational Audios

Mindfulness Training

Rational Thinking

Relaxation for Children

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

Loving Kindness Meditation

Self-Esteem Exercise

Meadow Relaxation

Rainy Autumn Morning

Energizing Audios

Quick Stress Relief

Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight

Lies You Were Told

Choosing Happiness

Lotus Flower Relaxation

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

All Audio Articles

Kindle Books by Dr. Monica Frank


Emotion Training: What is it and How Does it Work?

How You Can Be More Resistant to Workplace Bullying

Are You Passive Aggressive and Want to Change?

When Your Loved One Refuses Help

The Porcupine Effect: Pushing Others Away When You Want to Connect

What if You Considered Other Peoples' Views?

5 Common Microaggressions Against Those With Mental Illness

What to Expect from Mindfulness-based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (MCBT) When You Have Depression and Anxiety

Does Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Lack Compassion? It Depends Upon the Therapist

When Needs Come Into Conflict

What to Do When Anger Hurts Those You Love

A Brief Primer On the Biology of Stress and How CBT Can Help

50 Tools for Panic and Anxiety

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?


Building Blocks Emotion Training

Hot Springs Relaxation

5 Methods to Managing Anger

Panic Assistance While Driving

Autogenic Relaxation Training

Rainbow Sandbox Mindfulness

Mindfulness Training

Riding a Horse Across the Plains

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

Cognitive Diary Example


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The following is an example to help learn how to identify and change irrational thinking. It is best to read the articles defining the irrational styles of thinking prior to trying to identifying the styles in the example. It uses the format of the COGNITIVE DIARY CBT SELF-HELP app. Read: Understanding and Using the Cognitive Diary.

Too Depressed to Call

EVENT: My friend has left several messages for me about going to lunch.

EMOTIONS: overwhelmed, embarrassed, unworthy

DISTRESS RATING: 8—high level of distress

THOUGHTS: “My depression is so bad I just don't feel like being social. But I should call my friend. She will think I am a horrible person for not returning her call. I am so lazy and weak that I can't do a simple thing like calling my friend.”

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 being overwhelmed, embarrassed, and unworthy?

The Cognitive Diary CBT Self-Help app helps you to determine some ways to challenge the irrational thinking. Once you have done that, it is important to read the rational challenges frequently until they automatically come to mind rather than the irrational thinking.

Some of her emotional response may be due to the depression she is experiencing. However, the idea is to address the irrational thinking in this situation so that it doesn't add to the emotional burden she is already carrying because of the depression.

Irrational Beliefs:
1) Shoulds. This person is placing a demand on herself regarding making the phone call. With most "shoulds" we need to determine whether we WANT to do them or whether they are unnecessary demands. In this case, even thinking about the phone call as a desire rather than a demand can relieve some burden. Instead of thinking she "should" call her friend which only makes her feel worse she can think "I would like to call my friend."

By thinking of it as a desire instead of a demand it allows her then to make a decision that is not connected to feeling overwhelmed by the obligation. When a person is overwhelmed they are less likely to see alternative possibilities.

2) Negative Labeling of Self. The statements that she is "lazy", "weak", and her friend will think she is "horrible" indicates that she is negatively labeling herself due to her depression. Having a depressive illness is enough of a burden without also feeling self-blame about having the symptoms. Clinical depression causes fatigue, lack of interest in usual activities, and a tendency to isolate. Not wanting to socialize is common for people who are severely depressed. It is NOT due to being lazy, weak, or bad in any way.

However, this negative labeling of herself will only make her feel worse. If she has depression AND feels bad about herself, she will only feel more incapable and hopeless about the depression. By recognizing the depression as an illness that is not her fault she can remove her self from the downward spiral of increasingly negative emotions.

3) Mind-Reading Others. She believes that her friend will think negatively of her as well. This belief is common for people who have negative thoughts about themselves. They frequently believe that others will think the same way about them.

However, this is her friend. It is also possible that her friend understands the depression she is experiencing and is calling her out of concern rather than trying to place a demand on her. With mind-reading it is helpful to recognize that there are other possible views of the situation.

How Can This Thinking Be Changed?
“I would like to call my friend but it is too much for me right now. I am not a weak or bad person--I have a depressive illness that makes it difficult to do even simple things. My friend cares about me and is not likely to think negatively of me. Even though I can't call her right now maybe there is something that wouldn't be as difficult. Maybe I could email her and let her know that right now isn't a good time but I'll call her when it is."

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