On Day 27, Beck teaches the reader "The Seven Question Technique". This exercise is to create response cards for the sabotaging thoughts and thinking mistakes that we identified on Days 25 and 26.
Write down the sabotaging thought. Use your notebook to record these 7 questions as many times as necessary to cover all of the thoughts and thinking mistakes you came up with.
- What kind of thinking error could I be making?
- What evidence is there that this thought might not be true (or not completely true?)
- Is there an alternative explanation or another way of viewing this?
- What is the most realistic outcome of this situation?
- What is the effect of my believing this thought and what could be the effect of changing my thinking?
- What would I tell a close friend or family member if he or she were in this situation and had this thought?
- What should I do now?
Beck says, "Over time as you practice these ideas again and again, you'll begin to automatically respond to your sabotaging thoughts even without Response Cards".
I haven't done this exercise yet on paper, but I have used a similar technique to respond to negative thoughts and it really does work so I think doing the exercise on paper will just solidfy the technique for me.