DIALOGICAL DISPUTATION OF NEGATIVE SELF-STATEMENTS: CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD

Why are negative self-statements and negative self-appraisals so strong, so persistent, and seemingly so impervious to correction? This paper proposes that their strength could arise from a vestige of the bicameral mind, in which self-originated statements have the authority of a god in directing our evaluations of life and of our sense of self. The cognitive behavioral therapy method of dialogical disputing may be especially effective with these thoughts, because it takes them out of the context of self-generation, in a role-play in which the therapist reflects those statements back to the client from an other-originating posture.

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