Classic work on cognitive therapy by one of its founders. Parts are technical, but overall it’s straightforward, easy to read, and a good introduction.

The basic idea of cognitive therapy (CT) is that a lot of anxiety is caused by thoughts. Typically, these are negative, irrational, automatic thoughts which go on at a low level of consciousness – not unconsciousness, but a sort of background chatter which you may not be aware of, but can easily call into awareness if you pay attention. Stuff like, “She hates me,” “I’m a loser,” “They won’t hire me,” etc.

These thoughts are what cause or precipitate anxiety, depression, and panic attacks; if you become aware of the thoughts, then you can challenge them and teach yourself to think them less. You will then be less depressed, anxious, and panicky. (Mindfulness-based CT suggests that all CT works not by literally changing your thoughts, but by changing your relationship to your thoughts. I think both are a factor, but I’m with the mindfulness camp that the relationship aspect is more significant.)

That’s the basic theory. I’ll highlight details I thought were especially interesting.

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Cognitive Therapy and the Emotional Disorders
rachelmanija: (Princess Bride: Let me sum up)
( Jul. 24th, 2012 11:21 am)
1. I am on Goodreads here, and am happily procrastinating by importing reviews originally written here, and writing 2-3 line reviews of books I didn't review here. Also uploaded a more flattering (I hope) photo.

2. Yesterday I made home-made chicharrones (pork rinds) despite not having a deep fryer, and they came out perfect. I cut pork belly into small slices and chunks, salted and peppered it, then laid it on a tin foil-lined baking sheet and roasted it in the oven at 450 until it smelled delicious and the skin got bubbly. If you've never had the real thing, is it so much more delicious than the packaged stuff. If I hadn't been hitting the gym regularly, I might feel vaguely guilty or concerned about eating about a quarter pound of the least healthy food ever, but I have been, so I don't.

3. [personal profile] staranise has created Clinical Documentation, an A03 collection of fanfic in the form of psychological reports on fictional characters. If you have one, put it up!
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