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Course Objectives          Course Endorsements           Course Outline

Introduction

Starting Down a New Road

Lesson 1: Understanding How The Brain Works

What's The Point?  This lesson is a general overview of the brain and how physical, mental, and spiritual factors influence its structures and functions.  By understanding these basics of the brain and how it is influenced, we gain hope that no matter how deep our depression, our mental outlook can be changed.

    • Is Depression a Physical, Mental, or Spiritual Problem?
    • Can the Way We Think Physically Change Our Brain?
    • Weekly Activities

Lesson 2: Brain Chemistry and the Effects of Drugs, Diet, and Exercise

What's The Point?  By understanding the chemical makeup of the brain and how these chemicals function, we realize the important roles that drugs, diet, and exercise play in how we think and respond to the world.  Caring for the body God gave us is very important in battling depression.

    • How Do Chemicals Influence the Brain?
    • How Do Drugs Affect Serotonin Levels?
    • How Do Gender Hormones Influence the Brain?
    • How Does Diet Affect Serotonin Levels?
    • What Is the Relationship of Fats to Brain Health?
    • How Does Exercise Affect Serotonin Levels?
    • Planning Life Style Changes
    • Weekly Activities

Lesson 3: The Effects of Lifestyle and Activities on Our Minds

What's The Point?  Activities and lifestyle choices profoundly influence, and are influenced by, a depressed mood.  This lesson identifies activities and lifestyle choices that can either deepen or combat depression.  These choices not only change our momentary mood, but in time can fundamentally change our brain structure and function.

    • How Can Our Life Style Change the Brain?
    • How Does Depression Influence Activities?
    • How Can Lack Of Sleep Affect Our Brain?
    • How Can Talking Affect Mood?
    • What Other Activities Change Mood?
    • Weekly Activities

Lesson 4: Thinking Styles and Their Effects on the Brain

What's The Point? From infancy on we learn "thinking styles" for interpreting our world. These styles physically alter our brain and our brain chemistry. In this lesson we become acquainted with harmful thinking styles and the techniques and resources for changing them.

    • How Do Thoughts Change Our Brain
    • How Does Our Brain Program its Thoughts?
    • How Does Cognitive Therapy Change The Mind?
    • What Is The Role Of Spirituality In Depression?
    • Weekly Activities

Lesson 5: The Mental Distortions That Conflict With God's World View

What's The Point?  Our sinful human nature leads us to interpret the world in a distorted and negative way leading to depression.  In this lesson we become more familiar with God's world view which is rooted in his grace and love for us.  When we adopt God's method for interpreting life in this world it will lead us to a more positive and productive life.

    • How Does God View the World and Us?
    • How Do We Identify Our Cognitive Distortions?
    • How Do Cognitive Distortions Affect Daily Life?
    • How are Spiritual Truths Unreasonable?
    • Weekly Activities

Lesson 6: The Distortions of "All or Nothing" and "Over-Generalization"

What's The Point?  All future lessons zero in on specific cognitive distortions and the positive, gospel centered solutions, to these styles of thinking.  This lesson focuses on "All or Nothing" thinking and "Over~generalization", identifying the negative impact these distortions have and the positive gospel principles that help us overcome these thinking styles.

    • How Can I Become Perfect?
    • How Does God Overcome So Much Evil?
    • Weekly Activities

Lesson 7: The Distortions of "Mental Filters"and "Disqualifying the Positive"

What's The Point?  This lesson focuses on the distortions of negative "mental filters" and the tendency to "disqualify the positive."  Using gospel principles we are enabled to focus on and give thanks for the blessings God daily bestows upon us.

    • What Events In Life Do We Focus On?
    • What Do We Do With Praise?
    • Weekly Activities

Lesson 8: The Distortions of "Jumping to Conclusions" Through "Mind Reading" or "Negative Prediction"

What's The Point?  Using the false belief that we can read minds or predict the future we "jump to conclusions" that push us into depression.  Here we focus on the promises of God that set our minds at ease knowing that our future is in his loving hands.

    • Can We Read Minds?
    • Do We Need To Know The Future?
    • Weekly Activities

Lesson 9: The Distortions of "Magnification" or "Minimization" and "Emotional Reasoning"

What's The Point?  Frequently fears and anxieties drive us to set aside a realistic assessment of life, allowing the cognitive distortions of "magnification or minimization" or "emotional reasoning" to paint a depressing portrait of our world.  These distortions need to be replaced with the objective truth of the promises that God makes to us in his gracious word.

    • What Makes Something Important?
    • Do My Feelings Matter?
    • Weekly Activities

Lesson 10: The Distortions of "Should Statements" and "Labeling"

What's The Point? Focusing on what life "should" be like we often miss the GodÂ’s blessing in what life already is. This lesson confronts the distortion of "should statements" by finding God's grace in places where our sinful nature would never seek him. The distortion of "labeling" is overcome by replacing our vision of ourselves and others with God's vision of us through Christ.

    • What Can We Expect From Life?
    • Who are We?
    • Weekly Activities

Lesson 11: The Distortion of "Personalization"

What's The Point? At times we think that everybody is out to get us, or that everything we've done or will do will have a negative outcome. Everything revolves around us! The cognitive distortion of "personalization" is overcome by trusting in God's promise that he will deliver us from every evil. Even if the world is against us, God fights for us, and he will let nothing separate us from his love.

    • Who Is In Control of The World?

Lessons Summary

Appendix

Caring for the Body and Spirit God Gave me

  • Tool for tracking sleep, exercise, diet, and devotional progress

Identifying My Uppers and Downers

  • Tool for tracking upper and downer activities

Analyzing Cognitive Distortions

  • Tool for identifying and analyzing cognitive distortions

 


 

 


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