Here is a list of the 10 Cognitive Distortions or Stinkin Thinkin. This can
help you in your healing and I leave it as an open assignment you can complete
on the boards through a post or on your own, if you do not
belong to my message board. So this is for everyone to give a try. I know I
do it daily (thanks to therapist heh) and it is making a difference..
Here are some directions: you find the CD's that you use...underneath, put down
the irrational thought, then underneath that, put the healthier response or
rational response. Here are the distortions...and then I put Ashley's (a
good friend of mine in therapy too) example. I hope
this can help in your healing.
1. ALL-OR-NOTHING THINKING: You see things in black-and white categories. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure.
-If you're not perfect, you're a total loser. If you don't get everything you want, it feels like you got nothing. If you're having a good day, the whole rest of your life is perfect and you don't need therapy anymore.
2. OVERGENERALIZATION: you see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.
- One thing goes wrong and your whole life suddenly becomes one lousy thing after another.
3. MENTAL FILTER: You pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively so that your vision of all reality become darkened, like the drop of ink that discolors the entire beaker of water.
- You develop selective hearing and only hear the one tiny negative thing surrounded by all the HUGE POSITIVE STUFF.
4. DISQUALIFYING THE POSITIVE: You reject positive experiences by insisting they "don't count" for some reason or other. In this way you can maintain a negative belief that is contradicted by your everyday experiences.
- The good stuff doesn't count because the rest of your life is a miserable pile of doo-doo (yes it actually says this in the book haha)
5. JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS: You make a negative interpretation even though there are no definite facts that convincingly support your conclusion.
- You suddenly become a psychic mind reader. You know without even asking that people have it in for you and that everything you try is going to turn out miserably.
6. MAGNIFICATION (CATASTROPHIZING) OR MINIMIZATION: You exaggerate the importance of things (such as your goof-up or someone else's achievement), or you inappropriately shrink things until they appear tiny (your own desirable qualities or the other fellow's imperfections). This is also called the "binocular trick."
- The screw-ups or losses are HUGE and the good stuff or your positive qualities are teeny-weeny.
7. EMOTIONAL REASONING: You assume that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are: "I feel it, therefore it must be true."
- You start thinking your emotions are fact. "I feel therefore it is". "I feel like she hates me therefore she does".
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 "aughts" are also offenders. The emotional consequence is guilt. When you direct should statements toward others, you feel anger, frustration, and resentment.
- You should on yourself. You start beating yourself up with all the "shoulds". " I should be able to deal with this better." "I should be able to handle this." "I should have said/done that."
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 goddam louse." Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded.
- Overgeneralization taken a step further. You use extreme language to describe things. "I spilled my milk. I am SUCH A LOSER!" "My therapist didn't call me right back, she is the most uncaring, heartless therapist ever!"
10. PERSONALIZATION: You see yourself as the cause of some negative external event which in fact you were not primarily responsible for.
- You see yourself as the cause for things you have absolutely no control over or the target of stuff that may have absolutely nothing to do with you. "It's all about me"-but not in a good way.
1. Labeling and mislabeling:
My brother yelled at me, he doesn't care about me at all.
Sometimes I feel like my brother doesn't care.
2. Should statements:
I should be able to deal with stressful situations better.
I know how to deal with stress and I am having a hard time right now.
3. Jumping to conclusions:
I'm going to get the last number for the lottery in history class, that's just my luck.
I have the same chance as everyone else and I may get a bad number.
4. Disqualifying the positive:
I hate my life, it always ends up sucking.
There are some things going on right now that are difficult and make my life seem like it sucks.
5. Emotional reasoning:
I don't feel good right now so I can't handle anything.
I feel like I can't handle things right now and I know that I can.
Another example, easy example, if you were to say, "I am worthless"...a healthier response, "Yes, I may make mistakes sometimes, but that does not decrease my worth as a person. My worth is inherent and no one can take that from me."
I hope this can help...lets get on the path to healing guys :-)