Book Review – Change Your Thinking

Sarah Edelman’s book Change Your Thinking shows how CBT can offer a more balanced and healthier life and be used to boost your mental health.

Change Your Thinking is a very practical and in-depth guide to using CBT to tackle negative thinking patterns and overcome difficult feelings such as worthlessness, frustration and anger. This book offers the reader many self-help tools and Edelman uses straightforward, compassionate language making it simple and easy to follow.


About the Author:

Sarah Edelman PhD is a psychologist, university lecturer and trainer with her own private practice where she teaches people how CBT may be used as a self-help tool. Edelman is also involved in continuing education programs and conducts workshops for a wide audience including mental health professionals, private sector organisations and the general public.

Who is Change Your Thinking Aimed at?

This book is particularly useful for those suffering from mental health issues or interested in personal development. Health professionals such as those considering specialising in CBT as well as practising therapists may also benefit. Edelman highlights that the book may be used either a self-help tool or in addition to therapy. There are twelve clearly laid out chapters and five of these will now be examined.

Five Key Chapters:


* Recogising Faulty Thinking

* Disputing Negative Cognitions

* Coping with Anxiety

* Recovery From Depression

What is CBT?

This chapter provides the reader with a good overview of CBT, and begins with an explanation of how this therapy has been developed. The core of CBT, how thoughts impact feelings and subsequently impact behaviour is examined in great detail using tables showing clearly the relationship between thoughts and feelings as well as thoughts and behaviours. Aims of CBT, where our thoughts come from and Ellis’s ABC model are also discussed. Each chapter has a handy summary section to remind the reader of the most important points.

Recognising Faulty Thinking

Chapter two highlights the importance of being able to recognise our irrrational beliefs. Again Edelman uses a table to clearly show the relationship between our irrational beliefs and their consequences. The significance of thought monitoring and various thinking errors such as awfulising, personalising, labelling, blaming, over-generalising, black and white thinking and jumping to conclusions are also covered. Case studies also provide valuable example and practical exercises are given at the end of the chapter to test out skills learnt.

Disputing Negative Cognitions

The value of disputing or challenging negative thoughts is introduced along with key tools and strategies used to do so. Key methods examined to dispute such thoughts include: logical disputing, thought records (using thought monitoring forms), writing things down, behavioural disputing, decatastrophising and socratic questioning. Goal directed thinking is explored complete with a practical exercise to ensure the approach has been fully understood.

Coping With Anxiety

This chapter covers common causes of anxiety, different anxiety disorders, impact of anxiety on our thoughts, feelings and subsequent behaviour and patterns of thinking which contribute to the condition. Several key CBT techniques are explained and applied to anxiety, these include: socratic questioning, exposure, relaxation, thought challenging and the use of coping statements.

Recovery From Depression

Recovery from Depression provides an overview of what depression is, causes, types, symptoms and highlights the key to overcoming – changing thoughts/beliefs and behaviours. Cognitive strategies are examined which include: disputing depressive thinking, Socratic questioning and the Two Clumn technique. Behavioural strategies are also explored which include:activity, scheduling positive events and using a timetable. Relapse prevention strategies are discussed as well as the use of medication and ECT in treatment.



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