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It is proposed that targeting words and phrases instead of larger structures like irrational beliefs and automatic thoughts permits more rapid and better articulated patient improvement for more diagnoses. Cognitive therapy modifies the perceptions of patients in ways that reduce disability and distress. This is done by eliciting a narrative from the patient and then stimulating changes in key perceptions in the narrative. The altered narrative will control the patient’s emotions and behaviors as did the old narrative, but will produce less distressing and disabling thoughts, emotions and behaviors. The fit of the new narrative to the simple underlying data in the patient’s life must be at least as compelling as the old narrative. If the fit is adequate, the patient experiences the new narrative as veridical. The methods therapists use to modify perceptions define the “school” of cognitive therapy. The proposed method embraces all of them. Examples are provided

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Originally published in the International Journal of Business and Social Science. This material can be found here.