4 Steps of Inquiry, Man thinking

4 Steps of Inquiry

One of the most intriguing and well known forms of therapy is cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT.

Within CBT therapists are trained to identify irrational thought patterns that clients may be adopting and then de-awfulize such thought patterns by looking for evidence within a clients life that may support or not support the initial thought.

Therapist adopting CBT recognize that certain thoughts will lead to beliefs which will then carry into a particular outcome as a person acts upon those beliefs.

During my clinical internship working with students at BYU-Idaho I spent many sessions with clients seeking to implement this type of approach. I challenged many of my clients’ thoughts, especially when such thoughts would lead my clients to believe negative things about themselves or the world around them.

One of my favorite tools that easily complimented the CBT was introduced to me by one of my former supervisors and good friend, Jared Neal.

This tool, known as the “4 steps of inquiry” or “the work,” comes to us from Byron Katie and can be found in her book “Loving What Is.” In it she asks 4 questions that we should all consider at times to better understand our own thoughts:

  • Is it true?
  • Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
  • How do you react to and/or what happens when you believe that thought?
  • Who would you be without that thought?

A final follow-up question can then be asked, “what would the opposite look like”? 

I think perhaps another important element to consider within this formula is the source of a particular thought.

Like Dragons Did They Fight Book Cover

In Maurice Harker’s book, “Like Dragons Did They Fight” he outlines the idea that Satan in all his craftiness will seek to hijack your brain and place thoughts in your mind that will attack your true identity (as a child of God) and try to draw you away from your value system.

I hope that you can learn to take a step back to identify Satan’s lies within your own mind.

I hope that you can continue to cultivate a more positive mental space that invites the spirit into your mind and heart which will ultimately shape the beliefs that you have about the world around you.

I invite you all to continue to gain the tools necessary to win your mental battles with Satan and increase God’s influence within your life.

I know that as you continue to seek to understand your own thoughts and let God prevail within those thoughts that you will continue to win and that Satan’s influence will lessen now and for years to come. 

Written by Brandon Nite, MSW graduate, Northwest Nazarene University. You can reach Brandon at bnitetherapy@gmail.com

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