Cognitive Distortions (Stinking Thinking)


Cognitive Distortions

(Stinking Thinking)


1.      All or nothing thinking—

a.      Everything is black or white

b.      The basis of perfectionism

c.       Feelings of rejection, disappointment, depression

2.      Over-generalization—

a.      Arbitrarily conclude that a single negative event will occur again and again.

3.      Selective negative focus—

a.      Pick out a negative detail, dwell on it, exaggerate it, everything becomes negative.

4.      Disqualifying the positive—

a.      Disregarding compliments

b.      Swallowing negative

5.      Arbitrary interference—

a.      Mind reading – drawing negative conclusion

b.      Negative predictions

6.      Magnification or minimization—

a.      Tendency to exaggerate weak points about self and to minimize good points.

7.      Emotional reasoning—

a.      Take emotions as evidence for truth

                                                                                      i.      Feel guilty so must have done something wrong

                                                                                    ii.      Feel hopeless so the problem is impossible

8.      Should Statements

a.      Feel guilty about what we “should” be doing of have done.

9.      Labeling and mislabeling—

a.      Creating completely negative image based on focus on negative.

b.      Exaggerated thoughts create exaggerated emotions then exaggerated actions, etc.

c.       “One error does not a failure make”

10.  Personalization—

a.      The mother of guilt

                                                                                      i.      “Where did I go wrong?”

                                                                                    ii.      Feel rejecting of self.

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