Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Identifying Cognitive Distortions, pt 2

In yesterday's post, I began to discuss Cognitive Distortions, and listed the first 5. This post includes the other 5 types of distortions.
Again, this information is from D. Burns, 1980,Feeling Good

6.     JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS: You make a negative interpretation even though there are no definite facts that convincingly support your conclusion.
a.     Mind Reading: You arbitrarily conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you, and you don’t bother to check this out.
b.     The Fortune Teller Error: You anticipate that things will turn out badly, and you feel convinced that your prediction is an already-established fact.
7.     EMOTIONAL REASONING: You assume that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are: I feel it, therefore it must be true.
8.     SHOULD STATEMENTS: You try to motivate yourself with “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts”, as if you had to be whipped and punished before you could be expected to do anything. “Musts” and “oughts” are also offenders. The emotional consequence is guilt. When you direct should statements toward others, you feel anger, frustration, and resentment.
9.     LABELING AND MISLABELING: This is an extreme form of overgeneralization. Instead of describing your error, you attach a negative label to yourself: “I’m a loser.” When someone else’s behavior rubs you the wrong way, you attach a negative label to him: “he’s a louse”. Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded.
10.     PERSONALIZATION: You see yourself as the cause of some negative external event which, in fact, you were not primarily responsible for. 

The Next Step:
Ok, so now you have the different cognitive distortions. However, if you read through this list and then go on in life, these irrational beliefs will continue to play out in your life. Why don't you take a little time and come up with examples of how you have engaged in each of these cognitive distortions. Tomorrow's post (hopefully!) will be on steps to change these distortions!

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