The “breaking the rule effect” happens when you have slip-up and break your rules or your goals for therapy, and then think something like “oh stuff it, I’ve had a drink (or hit) - broken my rule, might as well keep going”. 

Or, you might notice on some days you feel a bit more depressed or anxious than others.  In this case, the “breaking the rule effect” would be thinking something like “here I go again - I knew this therapy wouldn’t work, I’m not good enough to change, so stuff it, I won’t try anymore”. 

In both of these examples, there are other ways of looking at the situation. 
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Breaking the rules