Friday, January 25, 2019

What are cognitive distortions in CBT( Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is one of the strategies of psychotherapy which is often studied and sometimes referred to as "research based."

In general, when psychotherapy outcomes are studied, psychotherapy which applies some of the ideas of cognitive behavioral therapy, it is found that CBT gets good results usually as good, if not better, than psychotropic medications.

One of the significant ideas of CBT is what are called "cognitive distortions." Cognitive distortions are very common and often are engaged in unconsciously. The person is thinking in certain ways that interfere with the person's good functioning.

In the short video below, five cogitive distortions are identified:

  1. Emotional reasoning
  2. Disqualifying the positive
  3. Mind reading
  4. All or nothing thinking
  5. Catastrophizing

As I am fond of reminding my clients, "If you can't name it, you can't manage it." If you can't name the problem, you are doomed to be influenced by emotional and cognitive forces which you are not consciously aware of. Once you can "see it" and name it, you can think of ways to manage it.

Most people are not aware of how their psyche works and consciousness, knowledge, is power.

A skilled psychotherapist can help a person identify the cognitive distortions which are operating in the person's thought system. Once identified, the person has the power, then, of deciding how they can be managed and changed for the better.

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