Spotting Thinking Errors and Becoming Aware of Negative Thoughts
In my therapy rooms, I often use processes with clients for cognitive disputation and restructuring; in simple terms, that is whereby we catch, dispute and restructure negative thoughts or thoughts that somehow contribute to an ongoing problem.
Many of my clients, students, readers of my blog and subscribers to my e-zine sometimes say that they were often not even aware that they were having the negative thoughts until they had experienced a number of them and looked back upon their day, and asked how they could actually notice them in more detail.
One way to begin practicing becoming more aware of your thoughts is to tune in to yourself at regular intervals throughout your day. For example, as far back as the early 1950s, the book Gestalt Therapy (1951), shared a number of “awareness experiments” designed to help build mindfulness and often used as a precursor to more advanced mindfulness techniques.
The most basic of these Gestalt awareness experiments was entitled the “ABC” of Gestalt by Fritz Perls. It was as simple as this;
“Try for a few minutes to make up sentences stating what you are at this moment aware of. Begin each sentence with the words “now” or “at this moment” or “here and now.” (Perls, Hefferline, and Goodman, 1951 p.31)
It is incredibly simple, but encourages the individual to start tuning in and being aware of their ongoing experience.
Spotting and Restructuring Unwanted Thoughts
There are many, many techniques and strategies used by therapists of different backgrounds, designed to help individuals spot unwanted thoughts which they can then apply thought stopping and restructuring techniques to – the likes of which I have written about in my books, my blog and weekly e-zine.
Here then, I offer up a hypnosis audio track with a process which draws upon a number of different therapeutic modalities and enables the individual to rehearse the awareness skills within the hypnosis session and then apply those skills in real-life. You’ll be certain to know what is going on inside your head when you have used this track a few times!