The next layer – Assumptions and rules in CBT

Rules and assumptions in cbt

If you got here from “automatic thoughts and what they can do to you”.  You have a fair understanding of what automatic thoughts are and how they run your life.  Automatic thoughts, although they seem “automatic” an invisible range of cognitive processes play an important role in how they arise. Automatic thoughts almost always arise from underlying rules and assumptions.

rules and assumptions

These assumptions are often self made rules of living and consist of “if, then”, “should” and “must” statements. 

The characteristics of rules and assumptions are as follows

  1. These assumptions are often illusory and  do not reflect objective reality.
  2. These are over over-generalized and extreme.
  3. Rigidity without a logical explanation is typical of assumptions.
  4. Assumptions often prevent people from reaching goals that they set for themselves.
  5. When these rules are broken or challenged, one often experiences extremes of emotion.
  6. They are relatively impervious to change secondary to  day to day events.
  7. They directly underlie the interpretation of events.