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Thursday, 21 May 2015

The CBT STAR

Some years ago I devised a simple model based on CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) techniques to help you deal with situations where anxious or angry thoughts typically get in the way of you acting in a sensible, assertive or practical manner. The model is known as the STAR Model because the acronym 'STAR' shows you what you have to do. Here goes:

Situation - Describe a typical situation where your problematic anxious or angry thoughts occur
Thoughts & Feelings - Write down as exactly as you can the thoughts that go through your head in the typical situation and how you feel
Actions - Write down what you typically do (or don't do - if your anxiety causes you to fail to act)
Results - What is the typical result (Both in practical terms and in terms of how you feel)?

Once you've written this typical scenario down, then go through each of the four stages and write down:

Situation - What could you do next time to help you prepare better for the situation?
Thoughts - What can you say to yourself if those anxious thoughts occur, to help keep them in perspective?
Actions - How could you act in a more constructive, sensible way?
Results - If despite trying all the above things still don't work out as you want, what is the most constructive response you can have at the end of it?

Then try out one or more of the ideas you have come up with, the next time the situation arises.

A more detailed explanation of how the STAR Model works including a worked example relating to anxiety and assertiveness is included in my eBook on assertiveness, available at the link below:

How To Be Assertive

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