Counter Pointing is a method of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. If you are familiar with Cognitive Behavioral Thereby (CBT) then you will recognize this way of thinking. It essentially is an exercise that asks you to look at your negative thoughts and justify then. This exercise asks the questions: Where is the evidence for your negative thinking? Are you “assuming” some facts? Are your negative assumptions 100% true 100% of the time?
For example if you are feeling fearful about flying then you are thinking negative thoughts (which you believe to be true) about the activity of flying. First you need to identify your exact thoughts.
Finish the following sentence: “When I think about flying I feel _____ because I think _____ may happen.”
Once you have identified the thoughts you can then start adjusting them slightly so that you are starting to feel better. It is not necessary to attempt to completely overcome your negative thoughts the first time you try this technique. What is important is that you gradually coax yourself into feeling better a little at a time.
Here are some replacement thoughts (counter points) as an example to overcome the fear of flying:
- There are thousands of flights every day that leave and arrive safety.
- I have flown before and nothing bad has happened.
- Turbulence on an Airplane is just like bumps on the road when I drive.
- I will enjoy having the time to read a book when I am in the airplane.
The great thing about Counter Pointing is that it can be used while you are in the midst of an uncomfortable situation as well as the basis for your daily Optimistic self talk.
Use your counter points as Affirmations, mantras when you Meditate, points to write down in your Writing/Journaling exercises, points to use when you conduct your Mirror Exercises or points to use when you Counsel Yourself.
Come up with Counter Points on a regular basis. The results will amaze you.
A great book about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Which is really just a fancy way of saying – “Lessons to create better thoughts by looking at your beliefs more realistically.”