Debugging our Feelings: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Developers

A presentation at Peers Conference in in Seattle, WA, USA by Jamie Strachan

As developers, we're used to solving problems. We can learn all the frameworks, tools, and techniques we need to tackle any technical challenge. But when the problems we face aren't in our code but are in our head, what tools do we have then?

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is based on the idea that our thoughts determine our emotions so we can change how we feel by changing how we think. While CBT is generally used to treat mental disorders like depression, it can also be effective in dealing with more common challenges like procrastination, impostor syndrome, and handling criticism.

Drawing on basic programming concepts, this talk will teach you the foundations of CBT and practical techniques you can use to help correct the distorted negative thoughts that can prevent us from doing our best work.