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Therapeutic Sayings: Change Negative Thinking to Positive Thinking

One of the approaches I use in my work as a counsellor and tutor is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). The central premise of CBT is that faulty thinking influences feelings and behaviour. Many people are caught up in the negative spiral of faulty thinking. Therefore, to change behaviour and feelings focus on thinking. Substituting a positive thought for a negative thought sounds easy, yet so entrenched are some people in faulty thinking that such a simple strategy presents too huge a challenge. Nearly seventy years ago, when I was working in psychiatry, I read something that I have used as a mantra in my life: It’s not what you think you are; but what you think, you are. That saying sparked off this collection, in the hope that someone who is caught in the grip of negative thinking will find the courage to start changing. Change will not happen all at once. It is a bit like seeing the world through glasses with a negative filter. Every small change will create a pinprick in the negative filter and allow something positive through. Given time, effort and courage, the lens will clear little by little. Each of the sayings can act as a mantra; when repeated every day, several times a day, the truth will take root and flourish. Sigmund Freud said that dreams are the royal road to the unconscious; positive thinking is the royal road to a more contented and fulfilled life.

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