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    Case Study in Cognitive Therapy

    Number of Pages: 4


    Summary of the research paper:

    This 4 page paper provides an overview of a case study of Jon, a man who suffers from depression and an overwhelming focus on automatic resposes, rather than emotions. Bibliography lists 1 source.

    Name of Research Paper File: MH11_MHCPsycs.rtf

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    that he cant seem to get out of bed in the morning and stated: "I dont see why I should have to." Rather than stating his emotional responses  to his depression in terms of feelings, his automatic thoughts dominated. In describing his career and friendship, Jon compared himself to his wife, stating that she has a great  career and lots of friends, so "What do I have? Nothing. Why bother?" Jons automatic responses replaced explanations of his emotions, and this hindered his ability to  identify the elements that were causing him distress. Distinguishing between automatic thoughts and emotions requires the use of the phrase: "I feel..." and the identification of reasons for the  feeling. For example, Jon could state: "I feel depressed and so I dont want to get out of bed." "I feel sad and hopeless." These phrases  would be more helpful in identifying the factors that trigger his depression and the reasons for his hopelessness. Labeling his emotions, rather than noting his automatic response to certain  situations, can help him understand the impact of his emotions and the role that his emotions play in his response to the problems in his life. The labeling of his  emotions in terms of their intensity is also valuable to the therapeutic process, especially in reducing the impact of his automatic thoughts and demonstrating the route towards change. For  example, if Jon can recognize that his depression is "overwhelming" in the morning, it may demonstrate why he has trouble getting out of bed, and why this time is when  he feels very hopeless. Giving Jon descriptors to connect to his emotions is a tool for supporting him through this process. Words like mildly, moderately, overwhelmingly, provide a 

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