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In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, what should happen between the occurrence of a negative automatic thought and, finally, its neutralization is logical thinking: looking at the evidence for the automatic thought, and the evidence against the automatic thought, and coming to the conclusion that the automatic thought is not worth thinking about. Or that it wasn't valid at all.

In an emergency situation coupled with very high anxiety, an intervention is needed. The therapist uses the CBT model to show the patient that the negative automatic thought is not valid. This is especially important for patients with anxiety disorders. This is CBT performed in a timely, efficient and immediate manner (perhaps on the phone), when waiting for the next therapy session to come by is not an option.

Is there a way patients can perform a CBT intervention without the aid of a therapist in a high intensity, emergency situation, with high propensity for negative thinking, and high anxiety, just in case the therapist isn't reachable/available at that moment?

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to cogsci.SE! Self-help questions are off-topic here; I think you have a more general question in mind, but it isn't clear to me what you're asking. How are data models/database schema related to negative automatic thought? $\endgroup$ – Krysta Nov 11 '14 at 12:00
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    $\begingroup$ Your edits have greatly improved your question! However, I would consider removing all personal references to make sure it's purely on topic for this site. We get a lot of "self-help" questions here, so we're a bit paranoid about that rule. Even though you've mostly removed the focus of this question away from yourself, which is appreciated, if you could totally eliminate it, that would be a question I would like to upvote. (: $\endgroup$ – Seanny123 Nov 11 '14 at 18:23
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Actually, reconceptualization is only one tool of CBT.

The basis is still what you might call "conditioning" or "skills training" (depending on the disorder). The depressed person does not "think away" (or "feel away") his depression, but learns and practices new behaviors until they become habitual. And it is this behavior change that leads to different experiences, new insights, and to a different "feeling" and "thinking".

For example, a person with Social Anxiety will simply learn social skills and practice them until they become second nature. This person experiences that they are not repulsive (as they had thought), when their new skills (e.g. smiling when approaching a stranger) lead to positive outcomes (e.g. the stranger smiling back). Discussing the mental concepts ("Believing that you are repulsive has the function to help you avoid situations that cause you fear.") and changing them ("I behave in a way that repulses people, and I can change that behavior.") helps motivate the patient to commit to the therapy and supports the practical exercises.

Reconceptualization accompanies behavioral methods and complements them. That is why it is not called Cognitive Therapy, but Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Basically, what CBT does is "faking it": you act as if you weren't afraid of spiders, until you have lost your fear; you act as if you weren't depressed, until you no longer are. The C-part helps you understand what you are doing and process your experiences.

What you also need to keep in mind is that behavior change might entail removing the patient from a pathogenic environment. For example, an alcoholic might profit from not going to bars to meet his dinking buddies. A depressive might profit from divorcing an abusive spouse or finding a job more in tune with his values and interests.


Reading through the old edits of your question, I realize that I have probably misunderstood your intent. Please comment, if you are looking for something else.

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  • $\begingroup$ Your answer was perfect, it was my fault I didn't make the question more clear. I just edited it now. Thank you so much. $\endgroup$ – jiniyt Nov 29 '14 at 14:15

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