Thursday, April 15, 2021

Helping our patients with black and white thinking

We commonly see folks with excessive stress due to “black and white thinking”. This is often described in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Things are either right or wrong, true or false, good or bad, and success or failure.

This way of thinking is very good from a decisive and action point of view, but often at the price of less psychological flexibility. It’s great when we have the power and resources to make the changes, but it can be excessively stressful when things are “unchangeable” or extremely difficult to change.

We all can appreciate that what’s “true” in the past may not be “true” anymore, so what’s “true” today, may not be “true” tomorrow.

Consider holding onto “truths” somewhat tightly so that we can function in the current world and for practical purposes, but NOT so tightly that we can’t shift gears when required for better adaptability.

The ability to hook and unhook from “black and white thinking” in the right context, is essential for stress management.

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