Why would we want to work with thoughts?
It’s not always essential to directly address thoughts but many times thoughts become quite unhelpful and prevent the person from engaging in your therapy. It can prevent them from adopting new skills (eg using pacing or even maintaining activity despite pain), or mean that they ‘resist’ therapy because something you’re asking them to do generates uneasiness.
By listening carefully to the meaning of what the person is saying, it’s possible to increase the level of rapport between you and the client, demonstrate your level of understanding and acceptance of them, and help them directly learn about their beliefs. This can be a powerful way for them to start becoming aware of what might be maintaining disability or avoidance – and helps you help them to consider both the good things about their beliefs, and the not so good things. Then they are able to make informed choices, which is really what we as therapists help people do.