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Hi forgetting,

It is interesting that I have the same CBT difficulty. While many things have improved I am still left with some key points I am stuck on. Like you have mentioned about thought 'reruns'. You are not an idiot at all, I am try to tell myself that this is a generalization which comes from the total frustration of trying to reorganize my thinking in a more positive way but for some reason my brain/emotional being is not happy with the 'excuse' CBT permits (by this I mean the restructured positive thought). It has been suggested that I expect to much from myself and I am to critical of myself. I do agree however the more I try to stop the negative thoughts the more intense they become.

So maybe allow the negative thoughts but not allow them power by using self talk suggesting other ways the event/thought could be perceived.

Sorry if this is unhelpful but I am a little stuck or even lost myself in this process. I will be eager to read this thread and the advice it offers.

Thanks for posting this problem forgetting. I just want to let you know you are not alone with this struggle.

Confused12

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Hi forgetting,

I guess the why is the key to the whole moving on thing. I am yet to discover this and if I knew I would let you know. I am starting to think that what ever it is holding on to thoughts is something which runs deep into my core 'being' something which needs to be acknowledged even identified then worked on. Well that's my perception of what I have been reading anyway. But I could be totally off in my own little reality.

Hey forgetting if you do find out the key to discovering the why please let me know. :)

Take care

Confused12

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Forgeting and Confused,

Everyone needs to remember one important concept and it is this: CBT and all psychotherapies do not end of some type of "cure" but, instead, give you the tools needed to use when the same types of things come up again. Whether it's anxiety, depression or anything else, our automatic thoughts do not evaporate into thin air. If you can remember that it will help. So, the idea is to use the same type of thought record you were taught to use and apply the technique to what is happening now. In other words, it is not that either of you is perfectionsistic but that something happens, you find yourselves making the same types of generalization and now, use the same tools, to examine how unrealistic the generalization is and replace it with a more realistic thought.

What do you think??

Allan:):)

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Yes thank you Allan it does help.

I am wondering how do I get myself to believe that the realistic though is not an excuse. So while I can think of many ways to reframe the negative thought into a more realistic, something is missing as I don't seem to be able to accept that it is okay to think like this. ( I don't know if it is time and practice changes this)

I also guess I am not expecting a cure either, just something to lighten the load or skills in managing the load so that I can function with some comfort.

Does this make sense or is it a common struggle with cbt?

Confused12

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Confused,

This is a common struggle and with all types of therapies. They just have different names for it. In CBT it is important to assess how strongly you believe your realistic conclusion, using a scale of 1 to 10 with I being you do not believe to 10, you fully believe.

It is important to stick with it, it takes repetition. It is also good to incorporate Meditation with this as a way to relax and get into yourself in a positive way. In meditation, there is no evaluation, just being in the moment. If you find yourself evaluating, it's OK, just let the thoughts float away. No judgment, not even for thinking judgment.

There is never a cure because life always throws us curve balls. It's not a matter of being "sick" or "having something wrong with you." It's just a matter of life and constantly learning new techniques for coping with life's challenges.

Hope this helps.

Let me know.

How about the rest of you. Join in the conversation with Confused and Me. :)

Allan:)

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Well, my two cents.

These days we're in the begining of what I called the "post-cognitive" era, meaning that the hayday of classical CBT is over now, and what is happening is that it is evolving to a hybrid thing. That is explored in my essay "Post-cognitive psychotherapy", but the nut of it is that there is a balancing act that many therapists and researchers are appreciating now - something you can change and some things you cannot change very easily. When you can change something, the thing to do is to change it - and CBT is an excellent technique for changing thoughts that are changable. When you cannot change something, the thing to do is to work on changing your attitude towards that thing so that it becomes less important that it needs to change. This is called "acceptance" within acceptance and committment therapy, and it forms the self-soothing/contemplation agenda within DBT.

Meditation is more than just a method for relaxing. It is a method for detaching yourself from being embedded in the thought that you are a failure too. when you get good at something like meditation, you are getting good at detaching yourself from the stream of automatic thoughts so that you can watch it like a movie rather than be subject to it and have to defend against it. The thoughts don't change - you are still "a failure" :) only now you don't have to take that thought quite as seriously becuase all of your thoughts are revealed to be not what you are - but simply something that you do. Your being - that which can watch is not the same thing as your words. So the thoughts can stay the same but the dynamic changes because your position in relationship to them changes. That is what meditation is aiming at; not simple relaxation.

Does this help at all? Hopefully it does.

Mark

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this is kinda hard

It's actually hard. It's not something that comes naturally, but rather something you need to train at, like a bodybuilder trains to gain strength and definition, or (maybe a better analogy) a martial artist trains to gain mastery of technique and strength. Meditation is a practice and a skill, and the only way to get good at it is to have a decent teacher to help set you up and give you feedback (can be found online if not available in your community), and then you have to practice it a lot.

Please don't hear me saying that it is impossible - it's not - but you can't just do it a few times and expect results either. You really have to commit yourself to doing it on a regular basis; making it a part of your life.

the normal state is to be "embedded" in the stream of your thoughts. Meaning that you can't be objective about them; only subjective. THey are the lens through which you view reality - yourself, the world - and if your thoughts are biased, then you will see reality through that biased lens.

CBT is trying to help you have "glasses" so that you can correct the biases that are (presently) automatically happening in your self-talk thought stream so that the end product is something less biased.

Meditation is different - it is trying to help you have an "out of body (or maybe "out of thought") experience" (so to speak) where you can watch the stream of thoughts as though they are happening to someone else and don't necessarily apply to you (I think). This is not dissociation but rather a very different kind of detachment that is healthy, and which helps you disambiguate the source of your consciousness (that part of you which is aware) from the content of your consciousness (e.g., the thoughts that populate your head). Right now you and I and most people in the world can't tell that these things are separable - we think they are one and the same. But the meditators testify that they are seperable and that you can develop a witness consciousness from which your thoughts become things you can view more objectively. Lots of words here, I know, but it's kind of a difficult idea to get across, and since I'm not a meditator myself, I'm kind of describing the thing second hand, which doesn't help.

The repetition of thoughts is a common feature of depression - it's called "rumination" when researchers study it. Rumination probably helps keep depressions more long-lived than they would otherwise be.

Have you heard about this deep brain stimulation stuff that has been done recently? Where they do neurosurgery on a very depressed person and place a pacemaker (essentially) into a particular area of the brain (BA25)??? The theory here (in part) is that this region of the brain, which is part of the interface between the cortext (where thoughts occur) and the subcortical limbic system (where the feelings occur) is overactive - possibly like a gate that is unlatched, and too much back and forth is happening between the feelings running the thoughts running the feelings, etc. By stimulating the "gate" on a regular basis, the idea is that the gate can be locked down better, and less rumination occurs. I'm not recommending experimental neurosurgery, but this is by way of illustrating how things are likely connected in the brain and mind.

There isn't any quick fix for this difficult rumination. I think you can approach it from different angles (and should) - CBT when you can manage that, perhaps incorporate distractions (pleasant social distractions if possible) into your life (which interrupt rumination), perhaps develop a meditation practice, continue with medications and therapy as you're able, etc, and keep hanging in there. Things certainly are not perfect in this world, but they can be improved.

Mark

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Thank you Mark I appreciate this web site alot because I've been able to ask some hard questions that otherwise I would not be able to ask. I understand what you are saying and the gate thing being unlocked makes sence. I am a fighter though and I keep trying really hard to shake this I guess this can be my positive thought for this moment;)

Anyways again I appreciate the time you and Allan take to reply I get lost otherwise in the cayos of my life and moods. Hey at least some of my anxiety is doing better, I can't knock that, even if it is 1% I suppose it is on the road to better right? :(

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