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The Coddling of the American Mind - Article

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The Coddling of the American Mind - Article

Postby BeamStalk » Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:47 am

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/arc ... nd/399356/

Very good article on critical thinking, trigger warnings, politics and their affect on us as a whole. I would like to see more studies into this though.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a modern embodiment of this ancient wisdom. It is the most extensively studied nonpharmaceutical treatment of mental illness, and is used widely to treat depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and addiction. It can even be of help to schizophrenics. No other form of psychotherapy has been shown to work for a broader range of problems. Studies have generally found that it is as effective as antidepressant drugs (such as Prozac) in the treatment of anxiety and depression. The therapy is relatively quick and easy to learn; after a few months of training, many patients can do it on their own. Unlike drugs, cognitive behavioral therapy keeps working long after treatment is stopped, because it teaches thinking skills that people can continue to use.

The goal is to minimize distorted thinking and see the world more accurately. You start by learning the names of the dozen or so most common cognitive distortions (such as overgeneralizing, discounting positives, and emotional reasoning; see the list at the bottom of this article). Each time you notice yourself falling prey to one of them, you name it, describe the facts of the situation, consider alternative interpretations, and then choose an interpretation of events more in line with those facts. Your emotions follow your new interpretation. In time, this process becomes automatic. When people improve their mental hygiene in this way—when they free themselves from the repetitive irrational thoughts that had previously filled so much of their consciousness—they become less depressed, anxious, and angry.

...

Common Cognitive Disorders

A partial list from Robert L. Leahy, Stephen J. F. Holland, and Lata K. McGinn’s Treatment Plans and Interventions for Depression and Anxiety Disorders (2012).

1. Mind reading. You assume that you know what people think without having sufficient evidence of their thoughts. “He thinks I’m a loser.”

2. Fortune-telling. You predict the future negatively: things will get worse, or there is danger ahead. “I’ll fail that exam,” or “I won’t get the job.”

3. Catastrophizing.You believe that what has happened or will happen will be so awful and unbearable that you won’t be able to stand it. “It would be terrible if I failed.”

4. Labeling. You assign global negative traits to yourself and others. “I’m undesirable,” or “He’s a rotten person.”

5. Discounting positives. You claim that the positive things you or others do are trivial. “That’s what wives are supposed to do—so it doesn’t count when she’s nice to me,” or “Those successes were easy, so they don’t matter.”

6. Negative filtering. You focus almost exclusively on the negatives and seldom notice the positives. “Look at all of the people who don’t like me.”

7. Overgeneralizing. You perceive a global pattern of negatives on the basis of a single incident. “This generally happens to me. I seem to fail at a lot of things.”

8. Dichotomous thinking. You view events or people in all-or-nothing terms. “I get rejected by everyone,” or “It was a complete waste of time.”

9. Blaming. You focus on the other person as the source of your negative feelings, and you refuse to take responsibility for changing yourself. “She’s to blame for the way I feel now,” or “My parents caused all my problems.”

10. What if? You keep asking a series of questions about “what if” something happens, and you fail to be satisfied with any of the answers. “Yeah, but what if I get anxious?,” or “What if I can’t catch my breath?”

11. Emotional reasoning. You let your feelings guide your interpretation of reality. “I feel depressed; therefore, my marriage is not working out.”

12. Inability to disconfirm. You reject any evidence or arguments that might contradict your negative thoughts. For example, when you have the thought I’m unlovable, you reject as irrelevant any evidence that people like you. Consequently, your thought cannot be refuted. “That’s not the real issue. There are deeper problems. There are other factors.”


Like I said and even the article admits more study is needed, the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques are good at helping create critical thinking.
The truth may be out there, but the lies are inside your head.
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Re: The Coddling of the American Mind - Article

Postby zilch » Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:00 am

Seems pretty commonsensical. I'm glad I'm so perfect that none of it applies to me.
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Re: The Coddling of the American Mind - Article

Postby BeamStalk » Thu Aug 13, 2015 6:47 pm

zilch wrote:Seems pretty commonsensical. I'm glad I'm so perfect that none of it applies to me.


It does and I can see uses for it in everyday life, even within my own perfect life :P
The truth may be out there, but the lies are inside your head.
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Re: The Coddling of the American Mind - Article

Postby Ryk » Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:24 pm

As a young man, long ago, I had some issues and was fortunate to find a therapist who used this method. It has made me a much better person and solved issues that other therapists would have prescribed drugs for. I highly recommend this treatment style and credit it for making me the person I am.
I like a little rebellion now and then.
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Re: The Coddling of the American Mind - Article

Postby zilch » Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:07 am

Ryk wrote:As a young man, long ago, I had some issues and was fortunate to find a therapist who used this method. It has made me a much better person and solved issues that other therapists would have prescribed drugs for. I highly recommend this treatment style and credit it for making me the person I am.

I believe it, it sounds very logical and workable.
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Re: The Coddling of the American Mind - Article

Postby Chris » Fri Aug 14, 2015 2:28 pm

Cognitive behavioral therapy is merely stoicism + skepticism.
If perchance I have offended, think but this, and all is mended, that you have but slumbered here, while a vision did appear. A Midsummer Night's Dream
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Re: The Coddling of the American Mind - Article

Postby E-lad » Fri Aug 14, 2015 2:50 pm

Chris wrote:Cognitive behavioral therapy is merely stoicism + skepticism.


I provisionally agree with that however CBT is stoicism + skepticism,,,as taught.....as opposed to someone who comes by it naturally.

And the fact that it can be taught with favorable outcomes pleases me a lot.
Life is a comedy for those who think, and a tragedy for those who feel.- Horace Walpole
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Re: The Coddling of the American Mind - Article

Postby ThorGoLucky » Fri Aug 14, 2015 3:32 pm

zilch wrote:Seems pretty commonsensical. I'm glad I'm so perfect that none of it applies to me.

Image
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Re: The Coddling of the American Mind - Article

Postby BeamStalk » Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:32 pm

CBT was by far the most interesting thing to me in the article, but I also love how it is pointed out that certain attitudes and current thoughts are in direct opposition with CBT and could be causing the exact problems they are supposed to be helping, in things like trigger warnings and "safe spaces". Schools are a safe place to discuss these ideas, these so called safe spaces are a way to just avoid an issue and thus keep reinforcing negative feelings. Outrage culture is tearing things apart and offers no solutions. This is a very destructive path that we as a society are headed down, CBT is a solution to this and should be taught to students, probably starting in junior high but definitely at college.

Personally I am currently working towards a management position at my current business and I know I will be using CBT and teaching it to the people that work under me.
The truth may be out there, but the lies are inside your head.
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