I have been mulling over Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques and what it is like for clients to engage in this therapy. If you are in healthcare as a therapist this is a mainstay of therapy. One of the cornerstones of this techniques is the assignment of “thought log” or “though record” or “thinking report” as homework assignments. In these exercises you ask clients to identify a trigger (situation), an emotion (and intensity level), actions, and the automatic thoughts that are experienced. After these “hot thoughts” are identified you ask people to find alternative realistic thoughts and/or behaviors.
When used these can be very effective. When is the operative word. Like any homework given to a depressed or anxious person they often are not completed and trigger a whole wave of feelings and avoidance. Some therapists choose to discard this type of homework all together as it creates “resistance” that they deem unnecessary. Others embrace this not doing homework and ask clients to examine this action using a thought log in session, or do a chain analysis to understand this behavior.
I have been thinking about these two views. Mostly I have attempted to use these logs, examined the not doing them, and sometimes concluded after discussing with the client that they just do not work for the client at this time.
To gain a new perspective I want to delve into this experience personally. I want to commit to doing a daily thought log for the next week and see how it goes. How effective is it? How much do I want to avoid it? What will I learn about what a client goes through. Granted I will not have the same experience as I’m not dealing with a dyadic therapeutic relationship, but I bet you I will still feel some guilt and pressure to doing it just by making this post here and knowing that a few lone souls will check back and see if I actually did what I endeavored to do.
Wish me luck!