By

Monique Thompson, Ph.D.

Partner, San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy

“Cognitive restructuring” is one of the cornerstone skills of Cognitive Therapy. It involves identifying thoughts that are impacting our mood and considering alternatives that may be more helpful or accurate. Practicing this simple skill allows us to recognize that our thoughts are flexible and adaptable, and that they have a big impact on how we feel. The simplest way to practice this skill is by using a “thought record,” another hallmark of CBT. Generating alternative thoughts doesn’t require a form or need to be a static practice.

There are so many sources of alternative perspectives and concepts in our media-rich world; one of my favorite places to go is Ted.com, a nonprofit devoted to disseminating the ideas of some of the world’s most inspired thinkers. Here are my Top 15 Ted Talks. If this list is too long or you just want to “be surprised,” select the “surprise me” option on Ted.com (http://www.ted.com/surpriseme). Inspiration, and alternative perspectives, await you…

TOP 15 Ted Talks

Carol Dweck: The Power of Believing you can improve

https://www.ted.com/talks/carol_dweck_the_power_of_believing_that_you_can_improve

Andrew Solomon – Depression, the secret we share

http://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_solomon_depression_the_secret_we_share?lang

hJD Schramm: Break the Silence for Suicide Attempt Survivors

http://www.ted.com/talks/jd_schramm?language=enuage=en

Joe Kowan: How I beat stage fright

http://www.ted.com/talks/joe_kowan_how_i_beat_stage_fright

Susan Cain: The power of introverts

http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts?language=en

Nancy Etcoff – On happiness and why we want it

http://www.ted.com/talks/nancy_etcoff_on_happiness_and_why_we_want_it

Sophie Scott: On why we laugh

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore: The mysterious workings of the adolescent brain

http://www.ted.com/talks/sarah_jayne_blakemore_the_mysterious_workings_of_the_adolescent_brain?language=en

Michael Merzenich

Growing evidence of brain plasticity

Sherwin Nuland: How electroshock therapy changed me

Dan Gilbert: The surprising science of happiness

Al Seckel: Visual illusions that show how we (mis)think

http://www.ted.com/talks/al_seckel_says_our_brains_are_mis_wired?language=en

Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend

http://www.ted.com/talks/kelly_mcgonigal_how_to_make_stress_your_friend?language=en

Andy Puddicombe: All it takes is 10 mindful minutes

https://www.ted.com/talks/andy_puddicombe_all_it_takes_is_10_mindful_minutes

Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar

https://www.ted.com/talks/jennifer_senior_for_parents_happiness_is_a_very_high_bar

Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability

https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability

Phil Hansen: Embrace the shake

https://www.ted.com/talks/phil_hansen_embrace_the_shake?language=en.