The Double Column Technique

This blog is predicated on approaching challenging situations with a spiritual perspective, but today I’m going to break it down into a practical and psychological manner.

For those of you dealing with anxiety, depression, or a blue mood, know that you are not alone. I once suffered from severe depression and still work on myself every day. Things will get better, opportunities will present themselves, relationships will be formed, and your depression will disappear.

For all of the things listed above to happen, we MUST be open to the idea of accepting help from others. Ultimately you are the only one that can heal yourself from depression, but having a good support group, and coping tools are not only crucial for you to fully recover, but it also speeds up the process in most cases.

The tool I’m about to introduce to you is something that has helped me out tremendously. However, I must give credit where credit is due. The tool I’m presenting to today you is derived from the book Feeling Good by David D. Burns, M.D. This is in no way an endorsement of any kind, but I highly recommend you pick up this book if you are in any way dealing with depression.

The Double Column Technique In Use

Now note this tool is quite simple to use and will only take up 10-15 minutes of your time. It is best when used daily after waking up and before going to bed. All you will need is a piece of paper and a pen or pencil.

First, draw a line down the center of the paper. Second, draw a line as to create a T shape and the top half of your paper. On the left-hand side label it Automatic Thoughts (self-criticism). On the right-hand side,

label it Rational Response (self-defense). On the left-hand side, you are to write down your self-critical thoughts that you believe about yourself. For example, “Because my boss was displeased with me and yelled at me, I am a terrible employee.” Obviously, you are not terrible at your job because your boss yelled at you. He/she could have been having issues at home and took it out on you. Or he/she could have just had a not so friendly call with his/her business associate, and you walked in on him/her at the wrong time. The last two sentences are great examples of what you would write in the right-hand column. This is the section where you rationalize a more logical response and defend yourself from your irrational thinking.

And there you have it! Now understand that this technique may be simple in nature, but if you truly give it a shot and write down a couple statements, I promise you this will help elevate your mood and help you to discover your illogical thinking patterns. Note that this technique is a form of cognitive therapy and is used by many therapists to help their patents develop a healthier thinking pattern.

I hope this technique, simple as it may be, helps you cope and heal with your depression.

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