The therapeutic recommendations advocated in the Edgar Cayce readings rely heavily on a self-help approach to cognitive (mental) change. Self-reflection and behavioral application are advised to correct dysfunctional beliefs and attitudes. Emphasis is placed upon awakening the recognition of just how powerful the mind is in creating environmental and physiological conditions. The readings are brimming with the expressions "mind is the builder" and "as a man thinketh in his heart, so he is". The readings insist that thoughts are real things. The literalism of this statement is reflected in this excerpt:
"Keep the constructive influences and forces ever as a portion of the mental self. Know that the mental forces are the builders, and that the attitude which is known by the body builds the environment - and the environment makes the physical reactions." (979-9)
Working with one's beliefs and attitudes is not viewed as simply a cognitive (mental) exercise. Attitudes are inextricably linked to behaviors: "As to the attitudes, - be not only good; but good FOR something, and this not only as related to self but in its relations to others." (3008-1) Individuals are encouraged to become aware of their thoughts and change negative patterns. The changes will be reflected in new patterns of thought and behavior.