Distortions in Thinking
CBT or Cognitive Behavior Therapy is known to be quite effective in treating depression and anxiety disorders.
One of its important contributions to psychotherapy is identifying “thinking distortions.”
People who are emotionally traumatized or experiencing mental health issues often exhibit “thinking distortions.”
CBT identifies some of them, such as:
— an uncomfortable situation is converted to instant catastrophe
* DICHOTOMOUS THINKING
— either/or thinking (e.g. I am good or I am bad)
* MIND READING
— knows what the other person is thinking without clarifying or evidence
* SELECTIVE ABSTRACTION
— focusing only on one aspect rather than all aspects eg. seeing only 1 negative and ignoring 7 positives)
* FORTUNE TELLING
— anticipates a negative future event without facts or outcome
— one event is now representative of the entire situation (eg. forgotten birthday means marriage is over)
In psychotherapy employing CBT, these “thinking distortions” are reframed. Tools and techniques are also learned as part of the therapy to deal with future episodes.