Unhelpful Thinking Styles [CCI]

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Unhelpful Thinking Styles [CCI]

An essential part of Cognitive & Behavioural Therapy is to determine if there are any patterns in a person’s thinking style which may or may not be contributing to their problems.

Unhelpful thinking styles include these:
– mental filter (filter out the good & focus on a single negative)
– jumping to conclusions (aka mind-reading or predicting the future)
– personalisation (blaming yourself for everything that may go wrong)
– Catastrophising – ranking problems as being much more problematic than they really are
– black and white thinking (where things are only right or wrong; in or out; fair or unfair)
– should-ing & must (a close “relative” to personalising, when this occurs you will hear yourself saying things like: I must do… I should do… Or I should have done…
– over-generalising or globalising (a close “relative” of catstrophising, you will know when you are doing this when you hear yourself saying: everyone dislikes me, everyone thinks I am… You always… I never…
– labelling (either ourselves, or others – often negatively)
– emotional reasoning (a style of thinking directly linked to mood – where you feel something bad will happen, & where you then believe something bad will happen)
– magnification & minimisation (another style of thinking with a “close relative” – this ime mental filtering – where typically someone thinking in this way minimises any positive in a situation & magnifies the negative

By knowing these styles of thinking, the client & therapist can work together to restructure & re-frame such thinking styles so that thinking returns to being realistic rather than unduly negative in bias – this if course takes time & practice which will in turn enable progress to be made so as to improve a person’s Wellbeing.

Also, it helps if you keep a journal/diary so it’s easier to tell if any of these particular thinking styles apply to you & may be contributing to how you feel. [note: all of us from time to time can think in these ways – they only become a problem when they become an automatic default & which in turn leads to functional impairment in our jobs, education, & social relationships

Source: Centre for Clinical Interventions, Western Australia

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