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Home > Unlock your thinking, open your mind. A collection of materials for leading counseling sessions that address thinking patterns that can hamper behavior change.

Bartholomew, Norma G and Simpson, D Dwayne [Institute of Behavioral Research, TCU] . (2005) Unlock your thinking, open your mind. A collection of materials for leading counseling sessions that address thinking patterns that can hamper behavior change. Fort Worth: Texas Christian University. Institute of Behavioral Research. 55 p.

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This manual includes a series of “topic-focused modular applications” designed particularly for counselors and group facilitators working in substance abuse treatment programs. The collection of applications contains focused, easily accessible, and brief adaptive strategies for engaging clients in discussions and activities on thinking patterns that can hamper behavior change.

Modular applications in this manual include:
• Feelings, Thoughts, and Mind Traps was developed as ancillary material to the Straight Ahead: Transition Skills for Recovery manual developed at TCU. This session features a leader’s script, with notes, worksheets, and handouts for leading a discussion on the interplay of feelings, thoughts, and “mind traps” (i.e., cognitive distortions) that can threaten recovery. Participants are invited to think about how they know the difference between what they are feeling and thinking, and how feeling-based distortions can get in the way of productive communication. Materials for a “mini-lecture” highlight common mind traps and introduce ideas for recognizing them and changing thinking patterns.

• Road Block to Healthy Thinking was developed as ancillary material for the Straight Ahead: Transition Skills for Recovery manual developed at TCU. This session features a leader’s script, with notes, worksheets, and handouts for leading a discussion about how the use of thinking errors (“cognitive distortions”) can interfere with healthy thinking if left unchecked. Participants are introduced to common thinking patterns that lead to frustration, distortion, and avoidance of personal responsibility. Materials for a “mini-lecture” highlight healthy and unhealthy “ways of thinking” (WOT) and teach participants strategies for recognizing and challenging thinking errors.

• Thinking and Behavior Cycles was developed at TCU for the CJ-DATS project. This session features a leader’s script, with notes, worksheets, and handouts for leading a discussion on the nature of behavior cycles and the interplay of thoughts and feelings that fuel cycles of unwanted behaviors or relapse. Materials highlight the structure of many types of “cyclical” behaviors and participants are invited to identify the thinking patterns associated with their own previous cycles of drug abuse and/or criminal activity and to plan strategies for interrupting future cycles before they begin.

• Mapping Worksheets -- These Mapping Worksheets were selected from the manual TCU Guide Maps: A Resource for Counselors because of their specific focus on anger and emotional regulation. Each mapping worksheet follows a “fill in the blank” format to encourage participants to consider various cognitive aspects of how we respond to feelings. Once participants complete their worksheet, group discussions and commentary on the causes and effects of their specific focus on thoughts and actions.


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