Thoughts constantly arise and develop in our brains, with sometimes no time for us to even think about them. Some of these thoughts we immediately feel are good and can help us while others are negative thoughts that can be disturbing. Sometimes we become aware that these negative thoughts cannot be easily dismissed and that they need further assessment and investigation. You may even have a desire to be able to catch your thoughts before you even think them so that you can avoid the task of assessing them. If that sounds like you, and feel that it is a really hard thing to do, do not worry, you are not alone. Many people have problems identifying their thoughts, separating them from their feelings, and evaluating where their thoughts come from. Dr Aron Beck, a renowned psychologist, explains the way thoughts work in his cognitive behaviour model, commonly referred to as CBT. He refers to thoughts that arise without awareness as "automatic thoughts" because they pop up in our heads automatically.
These thoughts lead to us forming assumptions and cause any number of feelings, which Dr Beck refers to as "intermediate thoughts". Dr Beck’s theory proposes that automatic thoughts, particularly those that arise repetitively, are linked to a person’s core beliefs. These core beliefs sometimes lead to individuals being trapped in patterns of repetitive thoughts that arise consistently. A therapist who is trained to deliver cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) can help you to develop self-awareness as they guide you through an assessment of your thought processes. Essentially, CBT may be able to help you identify negative automatic thoughts and gradually replace them with more positive thoughts by working to reveal the core beliefs that underpin intrusive thoughts. This process gives rise to more helpful and positive thought patterns that will help you cope with and navigate day to day life as well as to develop resilience for times when more difficult events arise. To book an appointment with a Redefine Life counsellor, please click here to book your appointment. Don't forget to mention that you are interested in seeing someone who can practice CBT techniques if this sounds like something that might help you.