Aaron Becks Cognitive Therapy Treatment for Depression

About 25 years ago, I obtained my Masters of Arts in Counseling. At that time, I had already suffered a few bouts of depression in my life and noticed it crowding itself back into my life. I decided to find and utilize Aaron Beck's theory I had learned in class that had been touted as the classical hallmark of Cognitive Therapy that proved (so it had been said to me) to have a very high success rate in treating depression. I thought I must get at this thing, keeping me down in my life from time to time.

I decided to go after and dispute to myself my own irrational automatic negative thoughts using his thought errors. Here you have them. And they were hard to find on the internet, so I'm bringing them to the foreground.

14-page worksheet link on the webpage of this link

I'm not going to lie to you. For anyone that needs to FIGHT your way back and out of a depression, it will take EVERYTHING IN YOU! You have to declare war! You have to realize it is taking you so much more to seem to accomplish things people take for granted. You are like that last guy in the race whom nobody now cares when you cross the finish line, just that you make it! It takes you as much energy to just get out of bed, as it does for somebody to run a marathon. This is why you must bring all the importance to it, you have to bring the proper credit to your smallest successes and glorify your own struggle into a literal FIGHT for your LIFE! This is how you beat depression!!! You can do it!!! Go... fight... win!!!

Typology of Negative Automatic Thoughts

  • Dichotomous reasoning [Black-and-white thinking, all-or-nothing thinking] There is a tendency to see things in terms of polarized categories, with no recognition that actually most attributes lie on a continuum - there are shades of grey. People are either good or bad, successes or failures.
  • Arbitrary inference [Jumping to conclusions, mind-reading, fortune-telling] Conclusions are reached on the basis of incomplete evidence. “He crossed the road to avoid me, I must have upset him”.
  • Magnification/Minimization [Binocular trick] The negative aspects of a situation are magnified while any positive aspects are minimized.
  • Personalization Here there is a tendency for the person to feel responsible for things that are out of their control. “It was my fault they did not enjoy the film”.
  • Discounting the positive [Reverse alchemy – turning gold into lead] A compliment or favorable outcome is transmuted into something negative. “He only said that because he wants a favor”.
  • Over-generalization [Use of absolutes – always, never, everyone] A single incident or person serves as a basis for judging all instances in the same way. “Nobody likes me”. “The traffic lights are always against me when I’m late”.
  • Global judgments [Labeling, awful-izing] A negative or pejorative label is applied to a single situation or person (cf over-generalization). “He is a complete idiot”.
  • Moral imperatives [Musts, shoulds, and oughts] Life is lived by a set of rigid rules that are applied to everyone, but typically disproportionately to the person themselves. “You should never be late”.
  • Emotional reasoning Seeing the feeling as evidence and proof of the thought. “I feel panicky, this means something bad is going to happen”.
  • Selective abstraction Judging the whole on the basis of a small negative aspect. “ The evening was a disaster because I served the soup too cold”.

See where you are going off track today and every day?

* Simple, but Effective Treatment Protocol for Anxiety