Thursday, July 5, 2012


By Carolyn J. Christensen

Would that I could cry and scream
So hard that all the ugly thoughts
Would burst forth from my mind,
And the words would hit the wall
With such force, the letters
Would shatter and fall to the floor
Where I could sweep them up
In an old black coal scoop
And throw them where
They would burn

Oh, that I could.

TOOLS (Mind Sets or Thinking Patterns)

TOOLS  (Mind Sets or Thinking Patterns)
I believe that the difference between coping and not coping with any depression, or life event, is knowledge of and use of known tools.
Many people are taught by their circumstances as they grow what natural tools to use to deal with life’s harder situations.  Many people never learn, because of circumstances, as they grow, the natural tools  to use.  If you can teach yourself, or can be taught by others, to use natural tools to relieve suffering, it can make the difference between happiness, acceptance, frustration and grief.
In this Blog many tools are discussed.  In the Mental Health Profession, there are many names for different tools (mind sets or thinking patterns).  In this blog, I have provided my own names.  First, you can find tools, by doing a “Tool” search.  Also, I will provide a list of tools discussed in this blog which you can access in the labels column.  Sometimes, all I need is one word to remind me of a tool I can use that will help me cope with a current difficult situation.  Mental tools are as important to me as physical tools are to a worker.

Thinking Patterns

Problem Beliefs


False Assumptions

Depression Self Diagnosis

Brain Tools

First Aid Kit



Mind Set Change Tool

Defining Depression

Make Gratitude List

Natural Chemical Booster

Read Books

Coping Strategies

Symptoms Identification


Identifying Triggers


Help from Outside

Self Confidence vs. Self Esteem

Distorted Thinking


1.            Describe just the facts of a situation which is causing you problems.

2.            What were your first thoughts  that came to your mind about this situation.

3.            What immediate emotions did your feel? ( Anger, happiness, sadness, frustration, etc.)

4.            Read a distorted thinking list, and specify which thinking you used.

5.            How can you think differently, considering your distorted thinking.

6.            Develop a thinking pattern that will allow you to think accurately, more quickly the next time.
Thinking Pattern
Belief of what happened . >>>Was my thinking distorted and in what way? >>>What emotions did it cause that could be inaccurate? >>>How could I think and feel about this that would be more accurate? >>> Which more accurate belief do I choose to accept? >>>

If you continue to use this tool, eventually you can skip to that last section when a situation first happens.  


PROBLEMATIC BELIEFS:  What you believe isn’t always accurate.  Accept that.  Decide what is true before you act (or stew about it).  I receive the following work sheet from Rick Huntsman, and thought it was excellent.
Below is a list of questions to be used in helping you challenge your maladaptive or problematic beliefs.  Not all questions will be appropriate for the belief you choose to challenge.  Answer as many questions as you can for the belief you have chosen to challenge below.


1.            What is the evidence for and against this idea?



2.            Is your belief a habit or based on facts?

3.            Are your interpretations of the situation too far removed from reality to be accurate?

4.            Are you thinking in all-or-non terms?

5.            Are you using words or phrases that are extreme or exaggerated (i.e., always, forever, never, need, should, must, can’t , and every time)?

6.            Are you taking the situation out of contest and only focusing on one aspect of the event?

7.            Is the source of information reliable?

8.            Are you confusing a low probability with a hiugh probability?

9.            Are your judgments based on feelings rather than facts?

10.          Are you focused on irrelevant factors?

THERAPISTS MANUAL – Cognitive Processing Therapy.  Veteran/Military Version     Page 103