Episode 258 - Dr. Stefan Hofmann, part 2: Correcting Errors in Thinking

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In episode 258 we conclude our conversation with Dr. Stefan Hofmann. He continues to explain what cognitive behavioral therapy is, how it can improve one's ability to overcome suffering, three keys any successful intervention will include and more. This week on MCF!

Show Notes

~ by Toshal Thanawala

Mind Body Connection

Dr. Hoffmann states that each individual deals with unpleasant situations all the time, but the amount of distress depends on each individual’s way of dealing with it. Interpretation of pain and dealing with the symptoms of pain determines how intense the experience is going to be. If there is a solution for the pain, apply it but if not then acceptance helps deal with the situation. 

Opponents of CBT

Dr. Hoffmann states that there are 2 different philosophies, the Skinner school of thought that did not believe in the cognitive aspect of disorders and Beck school of thought that places emphasis on the importance of cognitive approach and over a period of time the differences have diminished and today the profession if finding common ground. 

 Application of CBT in Patients

Dr. Hoffmann states that most of the times, the clinical toolbox can be used to treat most patients but sometimes, some don’t fit into any category. It is then, it becomes imperative to understand why that individual has that problem and what is maintaining it. Understanding the issues that are maintaining the problem is much more important. 

Just like in MDT, management is patient response based and also situation based, i.e introducing various situations and assessing patient’s response. There are three steps to addressing a problem; first, vary the technique of management if the current one is not useful; second, select the adaptive strategies and not the maladaptive behaviors; and third, retain the strategies that have worked. 

Process Based Therapies

Dr. Hoffmann believes that the wider aspect of CBT, which is process based therapies, has a vast reaching application to cultures, and society in general. The process of selection, adaptation and maintenance of behaviors is necessary for an evolutionary process. 


Dr. Hoffmann believes that over medication has been a huge issue even in the mental health world. It is important to be cautious with belief in trends/the next big thing, and wise to educate self before spending a lot of money and energy in it. Consumers need to be critical to different approaches before investing their belief in it. 

Effective Management

Dr. Hoffmann talks about the strength theoretical model, similar to motivational interviewing process. Patient readiness is important for treatment to be effective. 

Resources for Clinicians