AUTOMATIC THOUGHTS

1. instantaneous, habitual, and unconscious thoughts that may affect a person's mood and actions. Helping clients evaluate the utility and objectivity of these thoughts is a central task in cognitive therapy. Once clients have learned to do this as indicated, they then attempt to generate other thoughts that are more reasonable and less incapacitating. 2. thoughts that have been habitually repeated so that they occur without conscious cognitive effort. For example, a tennis player will choose a stroke with minimal cognitive effort. Also known as routinized thoughts.

AUTOMATIC THOUGHTS: "Automatic thoughts occur prior to changes of emotion, and may represent verbal thoughts or images."
Cite this page: N., Pam M.S., "AUTOMATIC THOUGHTS," in PsychologyDictionary.org, April 7, 2013, https://psychologydictionary.org/automatic-thoughts/ (accessed July 12, 2019).
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