Welcome to my first blog

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Welcome to my first blog. I hope it is something you find useful. Since I am primarily a Cognitive-Behavioural Coach, I thought something on these lines related to everyday life might be useful.

My favourite lectures to deliver at College were on this subject and the students often commented they really enjoyed and benefitted from exploring their unhelpful thinking.

They all had one thing in common, they sometimes defeated themselves with their thoughts. It is good to have a laugh at how ridiculous we can be at times. Just think about something you have been ruminating over and how perspective can get totally lost at night. Ever woken up in the morning and thought, what on earth was I getting so wound up about. It always worries me when I hear the Government or negotiating teams have been discussing late into the night!


Anyway, I thought it would be good to look at the Ten Unhelpful Ways of Thinking. These are based on the work of Aaron Beck in the 1970’s and developed by others since. In Coaching and Lecturing, I have sometimes met people who think there is something psychologically wrong with them, but in fact they just have some unhelpful ways of thinking that they repeat and cause themselves very anxious or depressed days. Realising they are normal and taking control of their thinking, with some practice, has been very successful.

As I said earlier, it is always useful to have a bit of a laugh about ourselves and our thinking so please indulge.

Here we go with number 1:

all or nothing thinking diagram

All or Nothing Thinking.

You see everything in black and white terms. You fail at some things and successful at others, but one failure means to you that everything is a failure.

So, after laughing you might be wondering, what’s the problem. It’s just that, you can end up discrediting yourself endlessly. Failing one assignment doesn’t mean you can’t do academic work, it means you failed one assignment. You might not be good at running or football, it doesn’t mean you will be hopeless at all sports. Ever given up on something because you didn’t manage it first time? I recently suggested to someone they might like to try a pain clinic as their painkillers weren’t working. They said no, because it hadn’t worked for their friend. All or Nothing Thinking; it didn’t help one so it couldn’t help anyone. A more balanced perspective will help us be more resilient and perhaps achieve more than we thought.

If you have any examples of your own or thoughts, it would be good to read them.

I’ll look at number 2 next week.

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