Cognitive Pearl #015 Kislev 25, 5775 December 17, 14

Happy Chanuka to all!

No matter where we go or what we do, we have a very limited tolerance for surprises. In the presence of the unknown we react with anxiety, distrust, and avoidance. That’s why when we enter a restaurant we are immediately greeted with a menu. The effective cognitive therapist works with this anxiety in mind. That’s why we utilize predictable and reassuring forms, procedures, and menus. Our sessions are structured around a shared agenda. Clients are given simple questionnaires that help them and the therapist prioritize and construct a treatment plan. We offer them menus of thought triggers that help them organize their unexpressed confused inner misery. Whereas theory based psychotherapies may question the ‘structured’ nature of cognitive therapy, the irony is that in their aspiration to ‘protect the projection’ they induce much more helplessness in the client.