So recently I read another CBT book this time by Christine Wilding. The book is titled Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT): Evidence-based, goal-oriented self-help techniques: a practical CBT primer (Teach Yourself). I have spoken before about CBT in part 1 of my blog.
This time I thought I would talk about the common faulty thinking styles that we all do and CBT helps recognise.
- Generalising -Based on a single incident or piece of evidence one comes to a general conclusion. Words such as ‘always’, ‘never’, ‘nobody’ and ‘everyone’ are an all embracing rule set of a specific situation. For example, if you make a mistake you tell yourself you are hopeless and if your rejected you tell yourself you are unlovable.
- Mind Reading – We believe we know what people are thinking and feeling about us. Often these are negative opinions of ourselves and is fatal to self esteem. For example, “I know my boss thinks I’m not upto the job”.
- Magnification and Filtering – This involves taking the negative details from a situation and magnifying them. One does this while filtering out all the positive aspects. We tend to focus on one thing that went badly while filtering out all the positive things that happened. We may dismiss achievements and focus on the things we are not good at.
- All or nothing (polarised) thinking – Thinking of people, situations or events as extremely good or bad. There is no middle ground. For example, you think if you can’t win at something then give up entirely.
- Catastrophizing – We believe failure or disaster awaits us at every situation and event. The belief that things will certainly go wrong if they can.
- Personalization – Thinking that everything people do or say is some kind of reaction to us. For example, your boss highlights the good work of a colleague so you assume he doesn’t think much of your work.
- Blaming – The opposite of personalisation. We hold other people or organisations responsible for our problems. We feel unable to change our circumstances as we see ourselves as victims of other peoples thoughtlessness and meanness.
- Self Blame – You feel responsible for the pain and happiness of everyone around you.
- Rigid Thinking – Resentful because others don’t agree with your ‘right’ way of thinking. We continually attempt to prove that our opinions and actions are correct. We may attempt to change people when we believe our hopes for happiness depend entirely on their behaving differently.
The thinking styles above are something I really struggle with on a daily basis. I am particularly guilty of the Catastrophizing thinking style which is common for anxiety sufferers.
I am not a qualified therapist on CBT so do not take my understanding of it as professional advise. Please consult qualified and experienced therapists or read CBT books written by such professionals.
- You can find BACP accredited private therapists in CBT throughout the UK on the Counselling Directory
- Your GP and local NHS Mental Health Trust can also refer you to free consultations with CBT therapists (Expect to wait though).
FREE CBT Online E-Course
Recommended CBT Self Help Books