Mistakes in Thinking: Should I Have?

One of the most important things in cognitive behavioral psychotherapy is recognizing when we are making a mistake in thinking.

Hi, I’m Dr. Calbeck. Welcome to my virtual office and to cognitive behavioral psychotherapy. Today, I’m talking about mistakes in thinking. One of the most important things in cognitive behavioral psychotherapy is recognizing when we are making a mistake in thinking. One of the most common mistakes in thinking are should statements. A should statement is when you tell yourself I should have done something, perhaps I should have worked out yesterday, I should have been nicer to my friend or my spouse.

I should have not yelled at my children. I should have fill in the blank. A should statement is a tiny piece of perfectionism coming to the surface. It also assumes that you have a time machine and that you can go back in time and correct your mistake. But we all know that’s not possible and we all know that being perfect is not possible. Should statements can really induce a lot of anxiety and also disappointment. So I challenge you to recognize when you are making a should statement and ask yourself, can I go back in time and change this or can I make a plan for the future?

And that’s what we aim for in cognitive behavioral psychotherapy, is to recognize how we need to move ourselves forward and then practice that movement forward. Thanks for joining me today. I hope you enjoyed this little snippet of cognitive behavioral psychotherapy.

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