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Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) tool to help you understand your emotions

The hot cross bun is a simple formulation that is used in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) to develop self-awareness of how our thoughts, emotions, physical state and behaviour all influence each other.

In fact, they are so closely intertwined that it is often hard to be aware of them all. Consequently, we feel them all in a moment, as one experience. I love returning to this formulation as it shows us how we can get stuck in a cycle. But it also shows us the way out.

Most people begin therapy because they want to feel different. This shows us how adjustments to our physical state, actions, and how we talk to ourselves in our heads all impact greatly on how we feel. If we change all three, then our emotional state will change too. I often ask clients to use this structure as a template for recording emotional experience, both pleasant and distressing. If it would be helpful to see some more examples of this filled out let me know.

Anyone else found this a useful tool?

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