Psychological Self-Help

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situation; (3) note how you responded internally and overtly in the
situation. Then, go back over the event, pointing out to the
experience-based mind why it went wrong, where the emotions came
from, and so on. Recognize how your train of thought, following the
mental error or misinterpretation, went awry, making the situation
worse. Lastly, review how you could have responded in a better way, if
you had seen the situation accurately. This process of substituting
constructive thinking (a new rational view) for destructive thinking is
critical; otherwise, your intuitive mind will continue to misread future
situations. 
This process is very similar to disputing irrational ideas in method
#3 and to reframing in chapter 15. Perhaps the best way to change
your experience-based mind is to have new experiences. If you fear
your boss, get to know him/her better and talk to others about
him/her. If you are uncomfortable with very old people, get to know
several. If you feel you couldn't be a leader, find a cause and try your
hand at leadership roles. 
In chapter 15 several methods (getting in touch with your feelings,
focusing, guided fantasy, and meditation) are described which will
enable you to learn more from your experience-based mind. This, in
turn, will help you understand the feelings that underlie many of the
emotions and misinterpretations which cause you problems. Emery
(1994) wrote a workbook to increase your intuition, especially in the
workplace and in leadership positions. Ruchlis (1992) teaches you
ways to evaluate the in-coming evidence and be a little more
reasonable in daily life. 
Time involved
It may take you only 30 minutes to read the steps above and ask,
"What are the facts supporting a particular belief I have?" On the other
hand, to understand the cognition underlying a troublesome reaction
you have in a specific situation may take a few hours. Correcting the
intuitive mind by experiencing constructing thinking will take 15
minutes every day for a month or so. If you want to clean up your
cognition generally and become an expert thinker and problem-solver
in some complex general area, like self-help, it may take years. 
Common problems
The first obvious problem is failing to recognize our well
entrenched erroneous thinking or reasoning. Simply reading the
examples in step 1 will almost certainly not correct our thinking. We
may need to be confronted by ourselves (our rational mind?) or by
others many times to acquire critical thinking skills. Actually, many
different skills and much knowledge are needed to be a straight,
creative thinker. We need to acquire much knowledge and know how
to accurately recall that information, how to analyze arguments, how
to test hypotheses, how to make decisions, and how to problem-solve.
There are several somewhat applied courses addressing these issues
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