Cognitive Techniques

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Cognitive techniques change twisted thinking to stop all addictions and negative thinking. They are also effective for couples counseling, relationships and codependency. Counseling with CBT gets results.

Discover the twisted thinking that makes you depressed, angry, impulsive and alters your mood.

When we’re down, we think negative thoughts. These thoughts reflect how we feel and that determines the way we act. So it stands to reason, that how we behave depends on how we think. No one can ‘make you feel’ anything. We determine our thoughts by ourselves. In other words only you can think the way you do – and there’s a positive as well as a negative – so when you catch yourself with these negative forms of thinking, turn them around.

Cognitive techniques were pioneered by Aaron T. Beck MD. Test these forms of twisted thinking on yourself:

All-or-nothing thinking:

You see things as black or white. There are no gray areas. If it’s not perfect, you see it as a total disaster. ex. You’re dieting and ate a piece of cake. Then you say “what the heck, I’ve blown it”. You’re mad at yourself and you get so upset that you eat the entire cake, feel sick and beat yourself up some more.


You use words as ‘always’ or ‘never’ when you think dark thoughts. ex. You’ve just broken up with a girl friend and you feel you’ll never find anyone as wonderful – and you get even more depressed.

Mental filter.

You obsess over a negative detail and dwell on it. You can obsess about it for days, weeks, months, driving you to feel worse and worse.

Discounting the Positive:

If you do a good job you say that it wasn’t good enough or that anyone could have done it. This makes you feel inadequate.

Jump to conclusions:

You interpret things negatively without facts to support it. This includes

mind reading (no one can read someone else's mind). Talk to the person clarify the situation.

Fortune-telling: telling yourself that you’re going to blow it, or that you’ll never be any good, when you’re doing well..

Magnification: You exaggerate your problems or shortcomings or minimize your positive attributes.

Emotional reasoning:

You believe that the way you feel is the way things actually are. ex. You feel hopeless therefore you must be hopeless. One thing has nothing to do with the other.

Should/must statements:

Very important. Thinking ‘should’, ‘ought’, ‘must’ and ‘have to’, make you beat yourself up for not doing the right thing. These words provoke you to rebel by doing the opposite of what you ‘should’ do in the first place. Leave these words out of your thoughts, and create positive strategies.


These are negative abstractions leading to anger, anxiety, frustration and low self-esteem. ex. You label yourself an idiot, a jerk, stupid etc. You probably label others as well – a loser, a jerk etc. This makes you angry and hopeless.

Personalization and blame:

You hold yourself responsible for something that you can’t control. ex. You’re child comes home complaining that he has no friends .and you interpret that you’re a bad mother. Or the opposite. Blame others. ex. The reason that I had an affair is because my wife is such a nag.

And how many times have you heard someone blame everybody but themselves for their problems?

Twisted thinking affects all of us at one time or another, but if your thoughts are usually twisted, they can cause, depression, stress, anxiety, anger, fear and many types of addictive behaviors.

Notice your negative thinking. Observe your negative mood. Turn your thoughts around and develop a ‘feel good’ strategy for yourself.

This is harder to do than it appears. In cognitive behavioral therapy the therapist helps you notice your negativity (AA calls this 'stinking thinking') and you learn to develop a more positive attitude.

Cognitive techniques are particularly effective for impulse control behaviors: food, drugs, gambling, drugs, alcohol, codependency, compulsive sex and relationship issues.

Changing your thinking gets you to turn your life around Using

cognitive techniques gives you a new outlook on life. This is a process, so don't be too demanding on yourself.

These strategies work for both adults as well as teens - even if you're using medication. Actually cognitive techniques and medication often go hand-in hand. Medication frequently can be reduce and even eliminated.

Here's more information about who I am, what I do and how cognitive techniques help control impulsive behavior

"How can I thank you -- I can't seem to find the words that would do justice to say how you've helped me change my life."

Joanna P/ Scranton, Ohio

Change your thinking, change your life Not everyone can come to my office in Montreal, but an affective way to get help is coaching by phone or with Skype.

Coaching is not therapy, but you'll still learn cognitive techniques. You'll set the goals and both of us work within the session to reach that goal. It's team work, creating a win-win situation Here's how to learn about it and you can try a free 1/2 hr session

More questions? just ask.

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