Cognitive Pearl #063 Nisan 30, 5775 April 19, 15

Last week, I introduced the rational response form. The ‘idea’ behind it is that the form triggers the client’s critical thinking abilities. With that upgrade in thinking he, with some help from his cognitive therapist, comes up with concrete ways to act on these new ideas. 

This brings me to the pattern interrupt form, a skill sheet intended to punctuate the smothering gravity of depression. The form also has the effect of triggering mental rehearsal for the purpose of developing new habits. 

Some explanation:

The mental experience of depression and any form of suffering is profoundly different from the mental experience of the peak states of joy, bliss, and flow. Without treading into the gory details of unsymbolized thought, time distortion, and all the rest of the dysfunctional inner dimensions of depression, suffice it to say that the experience is an unpleasant monotony of despair, collapsing into itself. This nauseating swirl of chaos needs punctuation; pattern interrupt is one effective way to do just that. By breaking up the client’s day with helpful tasks, he can challenge the hopelessness and chaos of his inner world.