A core tenet of CBT therapy is the value of homework, or work done outside the office of a therapist. Just as it sounds. Homework can consist of habit building and skill building behaviors, journaling in the form of a diary to track harmful thought patterns or what I am doing here in the website. There are CBT worksheets, literal homework assigned by the therapist.
CBT is greatly assisted by a notebook and a pen, two of my favorite things.
A main exercise of CBT is to challenge our unhelpful thoughts, and engage in more healthful behavior, the result being a calmer mind and a healthier body.
Concept: Self schema.
Per Miriam Webster Dictionary – “a mental codification of experience that includes a particular organized way of perceiving cognitively and responding to a complex situation or set of stimuli” More broadly, a “framework”.
A self schema are our beliefs about who we are. A negative self-schema would be self shaming thoughts i.e. I deserve to be ignored, or I’ll never be smart. Many times a negative self schema arises from childhood or other trauma and has been with us for decades, or since as far back as we can remember.
A positive self schema is reasonable, and forgiving. You make mistakes, because it is human to do so, yet you are still a good person. Perhaps when bad things happen in your life, you are able to separate who you are from what you had to do in that moment to make it though that trauma.
Thinking poorly of ourselves, are having a more negative self schema can make a person more susceptible to depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. It can be hard to truly enjoy life when at your core, you don’t think you deserve to.
Exercise – Sentence Completion
Purpose – to reveal the schema’s you mentally operate under.
- When I consider my future, I think….. I am behind, and cannot do it alone. I am glad I have my spouse, we are damaged together.
- I think the world is…. Unfair and filled with unkind morons. We need more helpers. I am grateful for every single one we do have.
- I am the kind of person who…. Wants justice for all, but knows what that means for me if justice ever really comes for all.
- People are…. often damaged by the restrictions of their culture. Better when you can connect one on one.
Man, I could complete these sentences for days. I will say my view on some aspects of life are far more positive than they were even a few years ago. Clearly I have a way to go.
I will set this aside for now and think on it. Will resume in a day or so. Thanks for listening, silent reader.