One of the models used at Redlands Counselling Service Capalaba is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This blog is a small read to help you reflect and work on changing your thoughts to lessen its severity on your choices. So ask yourself, do you have trouble noticing and controlling your negative thoughts? The feelings of anxiousness or negative self belief something you wish that could be switched off? Sometimes, it’s those thoughts rather than a particular situation or incident that can be causing anxiety or depression.
CBT talks about thinking errors that happen when your thoughts and reality don’t match up, often without you even realising. Another word is called ‘cognitive distortions’ which are patterns of thinking that are self-defeating, meaning it’s possible to get caught in a loop of negative thinking that can end up becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.
An example of someone that thinks he is unpopular,not valued, not important which had manifest to physical symptoms, such as sweating profusely at the idea of being in a social situation, speaking to work colleagues or engaging with family. The individual might avoid parties and social gatherings altogether based on thoughts that consequently turn into a feeling that ‘something must be wrong with me’.
At Redlands Counselling Service we work at identifying the thinking behind your behaviour, in order to give you a rich full life. Sometimes working on values can help, as it helps you live a life based on what's important and who you want to be.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help you recognise your thought patterns, notice and learn to question them. There is similarities with Acceptance and Behavioural Therapy (ACT), which I have written about in a previous blog.
Noticing and being aware of your cycle of thinking and replace it with a healthier, more balanced way of thinking a can empower new choices in you life.
Here are 7 common thinking errors that can be helped by CBT.
1 – ‘All or nothing’ thinking
If you are routinely thinking of things in terms of ‘never’ or ‘always’, you may be tempted to view anything less than perfect as a failure. Try to find the ‘in between’ and learn to accept that there is a wide range of possible outcomes between complete disaster and total perfection.
2 – Mental Filter
Are you typically dwelling on the negative aspects of any given situation, disregarding the positive side? If so, you may need to shift your mindset to acknowledge the good things that exist and learn not to let your negative thinking dominate.
3 – Fortune Telling
Do you tend to jump to conclusions based on your negative thinking, convinced that a certain situation or opportunity is bound to turn out badly? Rather than letting foregone conclusions limit your thinking, learn that you do have control over the outcome.
4 – Mind Reading
Similarly, you may be making negative assumptions about a person’s intentions or thoughts. While you engage in a thinking error known as ‘mind reading’, you are assuming people focus on your flaws through their responses, even though that may not be the case at all.
5 – Overgeneralising
Another type of negative of thinking error is the habit of creating a broad generalisation out of a single isolated incident. But an unpleasant situation that occurred once doesn’t mean that the same thing will happen every time
6 – Disqualifying the positive
Are you constantly dismissing good things, compliments you receive or positive things people say? With this thinking error, you are discounting the good, while looking for a negative message or ulterior motive.
7 – Personalisation
Are you in danger of seeing yourself as the cause of everything negative that happens, even though you are not responsible? You may be feeling guilt or shame as a result of something that is not your fault.
If you are suffering from thinking errors, you’ll be pleased to hear that recognising cognitive distortions is the first step towards correcting them. Your negative thought patterns can be changed.
Redlands Counselling Service is an an experienced cognitive behavioural therapists that can help you address your individual issues and give you the tools to change your thoughts for the better. Whether its (CBT) or (ACT), I have many ways that can work for you.
Beck, J. S. 2010. Cognitive Therapy. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.
Burns, David D., MD. (1989). The Feeling Good Handbook. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc.