Problem Solving in CBT
Whether you have doubts, fears, procrastination or simply believe your problems are constant, you can use critical thinking skills to overcome any problem.
In this article, you will learn how to use critical thinking skills effectively to solve problems. Whether you have doubts, fears, procrastination or simply believe your problems are constant, you can use critical thinking skills to overcome any problem. We can get started with a simple practice.
Notice any discomforts or anger you feel when talking with others and when the conversations shift to a particular subject. Think about a conversation that you encountered with someone in regards to politics, religion, etc.
Write - in your worksheet write out the experiences you had when you conversed with someone who made you feel angry or uncomfortable. Write out your reactions - were you defensive? Were you assuming that the person was judging you? Did your emotion go on a rampage? Did your temper flare? Write out those feelings and then re-examine the situation to see what you could have done differently.
Challenging your triggers
We all have triggers which cause us to react in a certain way, e.g. angry, sad, and hurt, etc. Some people become angry when they talk about religion while others get heated when they discuss politics. Thus, it makes sense that we all move to discover what gets our goat or makes us angry. The key to reducing the effects that result from these triggers is to use our critical thinking skills to discover something new about the subject.
To relieve anger one must be willing to challenge viewpoints and ideas. Read, talk, and express your thoughts with others to find out if they may share the same opinion as you. Challenge your own opinions and viewpoints.
Consider one of your opinions, e.g., "I believe that germs will kill me." Find some newspapers, articles, books or online information to help you understand germs better. Search for evidence or proof that someone has died from contact with germs. Notice how other people's opinions differ from yours.
Challenge - On a piece of paper, challenge an opinion you disagree with. Consider the source of information. Use your thinking skills to practice defending the opinion that you think is either true or stupid. Keep in mind that your opinions differ from others in most cases.
Who told me that?
When it comes to verifying if something is true, you need to consider the source. Seeking contrasting viewpoints is smart because it helps us to challenge people's opinions who have invested stock. For example, the President of a Tobacco company may dispute the fact that smoking may cause lung cancer or heart disease. Who do you believe? The President of the company has invested stock. Medical experts and scientists have linked factual proofs to smoking and lung and heart disease.
Discover alternative ideas
Take time to discover alternative ideas when in doubt. Do not suppress your opinions. Instead, check out other sources to discover whether an opinion is true or not. When you move to discover new ideas, it helps you to find the facts. When you develop a fact-based system of ideas, it builds convictions that no-one can tear down.
Tip - Realize that most problems allow room for permanent solutions!
Questions lead to discovery
Part of the problem-solving process in CBT involves critical thinking skills in which you must use to question opinions. When critical thinking skills are broken down briefly it is defined as an "ask questions, find answers" formula. If you want to build critical thinking skills effectively, follow the practice below.
Make it a practice to ask serious or critical questions that others find to be powerful, e.g. does war truly solve problems?
Question - answers - Write on a piece of paper opinions that has left you in doubt. For example, do germs kill people? Is there a need to fear talking out in public? Move to discover the answers that have facts to verify your question.
Critical thinking skills
Critical thinking skills will move you to ask questions, seek answers, evaluate opinions, examine the source and move you to check for alternatives to verify if any facts exist.
When you use critical thinking skills to find answers try to find at least three supportive claims that back up a certain opinion of interest to you. When you accept one answer to a question, you limit your abilities. When you check one answer and compare it to another answer, however, you build creative skills, find honest inquiries and find yourself with a conceptual breakthrough. But, you must take other actions also:
Critical thinking is a complex system because the world around us is complex and critical. Some of the answers you discover may be contradictory. Thus, it is important to prepare by refusing to accept that your ideas should be methodical and organized. Thus, you must also be willing to change your mind.
Changing your mind
When arguments develop it is because most people come armed with opinions that they refuse to change and will not accept others' viewpoints. When someone has an opinion that they are unwilling to change they may as well silence themselves for the rest of their lives. To avoid staying stuck in one state of mind, enter into discussions with an open mind.
When you have open discussions with others, you are willing to accept new ideas. After using your critical thinking skills, you can either keep your own opinion or else you can challenge them, accepting that they may be wrong.
Laying it on the line
When someone has an uncritical thinking mind, they block any new information that comes in and will reject new ideas. Scientists are people who thrive on challenging the facts and opinions to discover something new. We all can join them to follow the basic steps to opening our mind to new ideas.
Write - Put some of your opinions on paper and examine them. Let someone you trust see what you have written and ask them to share their beliefs and opinions with you. Ask them to share their ideas with you. Examine the difference of views closely and ask questions when you feel doubt.
Always examine your problems from various perspectives. When you take time to examine your problems more closely and ask questions, you make room for your mind to discover a way to solve those problems. If you think this isn't true, for example, scientists once thought that the sun revolved around the Earth. Later, when new tools became available to them, they discovered that the Earth revolved around the sun. It was clear that this last discovery was true.
Write - Thoughts roam in our mind rapidly at blinding speeds of lightening. When one writes, one slows down the process of thinking, which helps the person to see things more clearly. When you re-evaluate your ideas written on paper, often you discover things you missed. When you write out your feelings on paper and review them, you soon start to see all of your viewpoints in full light. Thus, you are moved to think critically and thoroughly.
People who express their points of view often seek the truth. Some people believe that there isn't a single truth to any viewpoint, which is untrue. We dare you as a final step in next OCD article to take time to discover and learn how you can explain why it is not logical to state that there is no truth. Now move with us into Exposure Therapy.