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Thought blocking & thought stopping are techniques used in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help you reduce or eliminate any self-defeating thinking.
Thought stopping and thought blocking is intended to help you reduce or eliminate any self-defeating thinking which contributes to your agoraphobia. These self-defeating thoughts can include unrealistic fears or assumptions. Our goal in this session of the cognitive behavioral therapy program is to help you move away from negative thinking, which causes anxiety and replace it with positive thinking, which causes relaxation
Thought-stopping techniques are designed to help people who consume themselves with thinking the same thoughts over and over on a daily schedule. For example, you may worry a lot that if you go into public places you will have a panic attack. This is called negative thinking and we want to replace that with positive thinking.
You can learn effective ways to eliminate negative thoughts by practicing at home what you will say when you encounter people and experience agoraphobia. For example, say you want to go to a job interview, but you fear that you will not get the job because you will experience a panic attack. This irrational fear must be replaced through rehearsal therapy.
Ask someone to participate with you. You can substitute the interview scenario with any that creates your anxiety and agoraphobia. You will role play a scenario that causes you stress and adds to your agoraphobia, and to utilize some thought blocking techniques to cure agoraphobia. In this case, we show you how to do that for an interview scenario, but you must change this to match your particular fears.
Practice what you will say to the employer by practicing at home. Picture yourself in a setting or situation which causes your irrational thoughts to develop.
1. Verbalize your thoughts that occur when you picture yourself in that particularly stressful setting or situation.
2. As you verbalize the negative thoughts, ask the person who joined you to interrupt your thinking by yelling at the top of his or her lungs, STOP followed by a handclap.
3. Process your actions, thoughts, words, and the same for the other person closely. What occurred during your self-defeating thinking processes? How did you feel? How did you react? What was your response when the other person interrupted you?
4. Continue the process while the other person interrupts you aloud, you interrupt yourself through your imagination. Write down your experiences daily in your diary.
You may use a video or tape recorder so that you can playback your dialog. During your recording, you should:
1. Clearly outline your negative thinking
2. Find three suitable statements that you can use to oppose the self-defeating thoughts. For example, if you think "my boss will think I am a nerd if I panic," state, "I am in control of my thoughts. I am a winner."
3. Get out a recorder and record yourself commanding you to STOP. Get in a comfortable position and restate the negative thoughts aloud. Use the recorder to interrupt your thinking by hitting the Play button. Record your new commanding statements on the recorder.
4.Repeat these steps up to ten times. For two weeks, your goal is to repeat these steps over and over again up to ten times daily so that you get into the habit of interrupting your negative thoughts.
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