1st Edition

Cognitive Behavior Interventions for Self-Defeating Thoughts Helping Clients to Overcome the Tyranny of “I Can’t”

By Elliot D. Cohen Copyright 2022
    334 Pages
    by Routledge

    334 Pages
    by Routledge

    Integrating Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) with a logic-based restructuring of Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT), this book provides therapists with a guide for addressing self-defeating thoughts and behaviors.

    Cohen explores how the tyrannical use of the words "I can’t" creates and sustains many commonplace behavioral and emotional problems. It shows how cognition and affect are intimately connected, demonstrating how cognitive-behavioral interventions help clients to address both their feelings and irrational ideas. Each chapter explores a specific problem, including low frustration tolerance, obsessiveness, risk avoidance, phobias, intolerance to criticism, dependent personalities, and much more. The theories developed throughout are integrated with practice sections and session transcripts that focus on the application of these theories for the treatment of clients who have self-destructive linguistic habits. Cohen also provides resource materials including reflection activities, bibliotherapy, meditation, and step-by-step guidance.

    This book is essential reading for mental health professionals looking for novel techniques of using CBT, life coaches, positive psychology coaches, counselors, and academic and clinical researchers who work with CBT.

    Introduction Part I: Overcoming "I Can’t" in Self-Defeating Reasoning: A Logic-Based Cognitive-Behavioral Approach 1. Logic and Language 2. Capacity Disavowals in Syllogism Chains 3. Guiding Virtues and Their Uplifting Philosophies 4. Applying Philosophies in a Cognitive-Behavioral Plan Part II: Neurological Correlates 5. Neuropsychology of a Logic-Based Therapy 6. Neuropsychology of Guiding Virtues and Their Philosophies Part III: Overcoming Common Types of Capacity Disavowal 7. Risk-Avoidant Capacity Disavowals 8. Low-Frustrative Capacity Disavowals 9. Blame-Based Capacity Disavowals 10. Phobic Capacity Disavowals 11. Hyper-Egoic Capacity Disavowals 12. Dependent Capacity Disavowals 13. Obsessive Capacity Disavowals 14. Key Hypotheses of a Logic-Based Therapy


    Elliot D. Cohen, Ph.D., is president of the Logic-Based Therapy & Consultation Institute, with training centers in the United States, India, and Taiwan. He is a professor at Florida State College of Medicine, Ft. Pierce Regional Campus, and a professor and department chair at Indian River State College.

    "Remarkable addition to increasing CBT’s effectiveness in one of its most challenging areas: dealing with the low frustration tolerance that leads to addictive behavior or avoidance of uncomfortable tasks that block people from achieving their goals. It clearly demonstrates, with case examples, how to identify the self-defeating thoughts ("I can’t stand it," "this is too hard and uncomfortable," "it's hopeless" and replace them with counter-messages that increase motivation and the likelihood of overcoming emotional blocks to behavioral change. A brilliant book and a truly outstanding expansion of the literature on increasing client motivation."

    Janet Wolfe, PhD, former executive director of the Albert Ellis Institute and professor at New York University, currently running a private therapy and consulting practice in New York City

    "I highly recommend Dr. Elliot Cohen’s book, Cognitive-Behavior Interventions for Self-Defeating Thoughts: Helping Clients to Overcome the Tyranny of "I Can’t". An innovative, scholarly, philosophic, logic-based approach for cognitive-behavioral therapists. Addresses common self-defeating emotional problems, including low self-esteem, anger, intrusive thoughts, phobias, depression, and more!" 

    Dr. Michael R. Edelstein, co-author of Three Minute Therapy


    "Your new client wants freedom from anxiety, depression, anger, and toxic relationships. However, your client also believes, 'I can’t make the personal changes I want to make.' Philosopher Elliot D. Cohen tells how therapists can help clients find and refute such self-defeating fictions by refining their logic-based thinking skills in ways that can also strengthen reason-related neural networks. He integrates key parts of the philosophical, neuroscience, and psychological literature on cognitive, emotion, and behavior systems. His philosophical counseling system is compatible with Albert Ellis’ comprehensive rational emotive behavioral therapy and allied, evidence-based cognitive-behavioral approaches. Among his many contributions, Dr. Cohen skillfully shows how to help people disentangle themselves from self-defeating belief systems well beyond what you’d generally find in psychotherapy reference books. That is what makes this book a critical read."

    Dr. Bill Knaus, former Director of Postdoctoral Training, Institute for Advanced Study in Rational Emotive Therapy (Albert Ellis Institute), and author or co-author of 25 books, including The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Anger


    "Long before CBT, Albert Ellis fashioned a cognitive-emotive-behavioral approach that conditioned our current age of therapies. Elliot D. Cohen has philosophized this approach with his Logic-Based Therapy and virtue ethics, which has generated a worldwide movement. This volume is a marriage between applied psychology, logic, and what philosophy has to contribute to the behavioral sciences."

    Prof. Jon Mills, PsyD, PhD, ABPP, Adelphi University