Cognitive Distortions Worksheet: A Brief Overview
Cognitive distortions are patterns of thinking that can skew our perception and interpretation of reality. These distortions can lead to negative emotions, and destructive behaviors, as well as colossal damage to your relationships.
Understanding cognitive distortions is an important aspect of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a therapeutic approach aimed at challenging and changing these distorted thoughts.
In simple terms, cognitive distortions are like funhouse mirrors for our thoughts. Just as those mirrors warp our physical appearance, cognitive distortions warp our thoughts and beliefs. They can influence how we interpret events, make judgments about ourselves and others, and affect our emotions and actions.
If you want to skip all the extra fluff and jump right into the cognitive distortions worksheet, download the PDF below!
Common Cognitive Distortions
1. All-or-nothing thinking: Seeing things in extremes, with no middle ground. It’s either amazing or a total disaster, no in-between.
2. Overgeneralization: Making sweeping negative conclusions based on a single event or experience, as if it applies to all similar situations.
3. Mental Filter: Focusing solely on negative aspects while filtering out positive information. It’s like wearing gloomy-tinted glasses!
4. Disqualifying the Positive: Rejecting or downplaying positive experiences or achievements, believing they don’t count or are insignificant.
5. Jumping to Conclusions: Drawing conclusions without sufficient evidence, often assuming the worst or mind-reading others’ thoughts.
6. Magnification and Minimization: Magnifying or exaggerating negative events while minimizing or downplaying positive ones. It’s like having a distorted perception lens.
For a deeper dive into Cognitive Distortions, far beyond the scope of this worksheet, see our article “15 Cognitive Distortions (The Best Way To Mess Up Your Afternoon),” which is our exhaustive treatment of this perception toxin.
Time To Clear Away The Ambiguity
These distortions, among others, can have a powerful impact on our emotions, self-esteem, relationships, and decision-making. By identifying these patterns and learning to challenge them, we can develop a more balanced and accurate view of ourselves and the world around us.
It’s important to note that cognitive distortions are not based on objective reality, but rather on our subjective perceptions and interpretations. Becoming aware of these distortions and learning to question their validity with evidence and more rational thinking can be a transformative process in therapy.
Remember, understanding cognitive distortions is the first step towards untangling our thoughts and developing a healthier perspective. In the journey of life, let’s challenge these wily distortions and bring forth the power of balanced thinking!
– Burns, D. D. (1999). The Feeling Good Handbook. Plume.
– Beck, J. S. (2011). Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Basics and Beyond. Guilford Press.