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Cognitive Fallacies

We discussed CCC, catch check, and change thoughts for ACH Accurate, compassionate, and helpful.

Let's elaborate on the concept of accuracy:

Cognitive therapists call false thoughts "cognitive fallacies" or "cognitive distortions."

These are thoughts that are false through exaggeration, misrepresentation, or omission.

Generalizations and black-and-white thinking are examples of an exaggeration.

An omission is when we fail to provide a positive context and aspects of our experiences.

Misrepresentation happens when we omit certain aspects of our experiences.

There are countless categories of these distortions, but here are some more common ones:

Generalizations: Taking specific incidents and broadening them into rules. "All men are pigs because my boyfriend hit me."

While a more accurate representation would be in "While my boyfriend is by no means a good guy, most guys are gentleman."

Catastrophizing: Assuming the worst possible outcome. "If I don't get an A in all of my classes, then it means that my parents will hate me, and my world will end."

All-or-Nothing/Black-and-White Thinking: Thoughts land only on the two extremes of all good or all bad. "If I do not get the job that I want, it means that I am a failure."

Let's discover where our thoughts are misinformed and use these techniques to make them accurate, compassionate, and helpful to us.

Which cognitive fallacy do you find yourself using most?

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