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CBT IN A NUTSHELL.
LEARN THIS ONE
When facing difficult or stressful
situations, it's easy to react automatically, without thinking, to the
situation. Most often, that automatic reaction is not the best or
most helpful one, and can sometimes make the situation worse, or makes us feel
worse. STOPP is a useful acronym to help us remember what to do in such
situations. It can be summed up in a quote from Epictetus who was a
Greek-born Roman slave who became a Stoic philosopher in the first century:
Try not to act merely in the moment. Pull back from the
situation. Take a wider view; compose yourself.
Stop and Step Back (from
the situation, in your mind)
immediately or automatically. Pause.
Take a Breath
your breath as you breathe in and out.
I thinking and feeling? What are the words that my mind is saying?
Are the thoughts descriptions or evaluations? Accurate or inaccurate?
Helpful or unhelpful? Is this thought fact or
opinion? Where is my focus of attention? What metaphor could I use?
(mountain, tunnel, playground bully, beach ball, passengers on the bus, thought
Pull Back -
Put in some Perspective
situation as an outside observer. What would a fly on the wall see? Is
there another way of looking at it? What would someone else see and make
of it? What advice would I give to someone else? What meaning am I giving
this event for me to react in this way? How important is it right now, and
will it be in 6 months? Is my reaction in proportion to the actual
event? What's the Helicopter View?
Practise what works
works and what helps! Play to your Principles and Values. Will it be effective and appropriate? Is it in proportion to the
event? Is it in keeping with my values and principles?
What will be the
consequences of my action? What is best for me and most helpful for this
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WORKSHEETS AND REMINDERS!
5 'first aid' Self Help steps for difficult situations
2 handouts on 1 sheet
STOPP - 'LIGHT'
STOPP - 'LIGHT'
5 column thought record sheet
8 pocket sized cards - print onto card, or cut out then laminate
from Ciarrochi & Bailey 2008
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