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Cognitive rehearsal

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Cognitive rehearsal
A technique used in cognitive behavior therapy. In a weight loss program, for example, individuals first imagine the situation that is causing temptation (such as eating a high fat food), describe the thoughts and feelings that accompany the imagined situation, and make positive self-statements about the situation (e.g., "I am feeling good about choosing a low calorie drink rather than the high fat cheese."). Then the next step is to follow the positive self-statement with an adaptive behavior (such as walking away from the buffet line to chat with a friend). Finally, individuals are encouraged to reward themselves for doing well in a difficult situation, with either positive statements or material rewards, or both. The idea is to rehearse one’s thoughts and behaviors prior to experiencing the potentially difficult situation, and to be armed with healthy adaptive responses.