Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

How to Stop “Stinking Thinking”

Choosing your thoughts carefully is a key skill to maintaining good mental health.  Often, we can’t do much about the things that happen around us and to us – but we can take note of the thoughts we have about those events.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a powerful approach to feeling better and making better choices.

You might have heard the term Stinking Thinking but perhaps you haven’t checked your own thoughts to see where they lead you.  Psychologist Laura L. Smith has a checklist you can use to see how your habits of thought might be generating distressing mental states.

  • Awfulizing: this distortion involves making a mountain out of a molehill. In other words, thinking that a situation is far worse than it really is.

  • Negative predicting: people who use this distortion predict horrible events that haven’t and may never happen.
  • Mind reading: this involves believing that people are thinking certain (usually negative) thoughts without checking out the truth.
  • Self-tagging: labels are useful on food items in the grocery store; they are less useful when applied to a person. Self-tagging involves calling yourself negative names like stupid, idiot, ugly, or so on.
  • Shoulding: I should have known better or I should have done something differently. These statements are not really useful and often involve self-scolding.

To most of us, it feels like when something negative affects us, we automatically feel bad and then start thinking about what happened and how it affects us.  In reality, when something happens, your mind must first make sense and meaning of it, before feelings (distressing or pleasurable) are generated.

That’s the point at which you can choose how to think about the event and meaning it has for you.  With practice you will be able to use this checklist to help you develop healthy thoughts and behaviors in response to life events.

If you notice that you have a case of Stinking Thinking that is making life stressful, ask for some help from a psychologist expert at Cognitive Behaviour Therapies.

CBT is a form of psychotherapy in which therapist and client work together to identify and solve problems by changing the client’s thinking, behaviour and emotional responses to situations and events.

Dr. Aaron T. Beck developed the treatment model. The Beck Institute says it has been found to be effective in more than 400 outcome studies for a myriad of psychiatric disorders, including depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and substance abuse, among others.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been extended to and studied for adolescents and children, couples, and families.

Rosalin Primrose
Ph: 0424 002 640
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Psychology, Counselling & Mediation Sunshine Coast Ph 0424 002 640

  Rosalin Primrose Horse Therapy
Rosalin Primrose Psychology Services

Rosalin Primrose

MA , Reg Psych, (FDRP)
  • Medicare Provider No: 4197097T
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