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Unread July 4th, 2005, 11:00 PM
Micah Perkins Micah Perkins is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Oklahoma City, Ok, USA
Posts: 10
Default Re: "Even my thoughts are wrong..."

It REBT this would be called a "secondary disturbance". Your client is not only feeling depressed, but also angry at herself (or depressed) for feeling depressed- she is engaging in what REBT calls 'people rating' or 'conditional self acceptance'. The REBT therapist would help her identify, evaluate, and dispute her (possible) beliefs of "I MUST not be depressed" and "being depressed makes me a weak rotten person".
A possible response would be the therapist asking her "why must you not be depressed? Although it is preferable to not be depressed there is no reason why you MUST not. There is no law in the universe which states that people MUST not ever get depressed. People do get depressed." Next "how does you being depressed make you a rotten person? It is preferable to not be depressed, but just because you frequently become depressed does not mean that you are a no good rotten person- it just means that you are a erson who frequently struggles with depression."
She may be able to 'agree' with these statements, but still have difficulty replacing her self defeating beliefs with more self helping beliefs and behaviors. Therefore, you will want her to identify self statments that she can tell herself WHEN she begins to damn herself again- and encourage her to practice these self statments over and over again.
Also, in subsequent sessions you may ask her to play the part of a "friend" (maybe one who is more encouraging than the other ones ? as you play the part of her. She will then debate with you about why you are not a no good rotten person. With A LOT of work she can come to the point where she damns herself less (and this may actually be a core issue surrounding her overall depression)
For more on people rating go to

Good luck with your client. I hope this helps

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