Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - Summary

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Cognitive Distortions


Focusing solely on the negative and ignoring all of the positive.

Polarized Thinking

Black and white thinking, not seeing the grey.


Assuming all experiences and people are the same, based on one negative experience.

Jumping To Conclusions

Being convinced of something with little to no evidence to support it.


Assuming the worst case scenario, magnifying the negative and minimizing the positive.


Believing that you are at least partially responsible for everything bad that happens around you.

Control Fallacies

Thinking everything that happens to you is either all your fault or not at all your fault.

Fallacy Of Fairness

Being too concerned over whether everything is fair.


Pointing to others when looking for a cause of any negative event, instead of looking at yourself.


Holding tight to your personal rules on how people ought to behave.

Emotional Reasoning

Believing “If I feel it, it must be true!”.

Fallacy Of Change

Expecting others to change to suit your needs and desires.

Global Labelling / Mislabelling

Generalizing one or two instances into an overall judgment, using exaggerated and emotionally loaded language.

Always Being Right

Believing that it is absolutely unacceptable to be wrong.

Heaven’s Reward Fallacy

Believing that any good act on your part will be repaid or rewarded.



Gather data about your moods, their source / intensity, and your responses to them.

Unravelling Cognitive Distortions

Become aware of the distortions you are likely to be vulnerable to.

Cognitive Restructuring

Challenge your harmful or destructive beliefs and restructure them.

Exposure And Response Prevention

Expose yourself to whatever it is that normally provokes a compulsive behavior.

Interoceptive Exposure

Expose yourself to sensations you are afraid of and recognize they are not dangerous.

Nightmare Exposure And Rescripting

Identify the emotion caused by a nightmare and cultivate a new emotion to replace it.

Play The Script Until The End

Finish a worst case scenario in your head to see that everything will likely turn out okay.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Relax one muscle group at a time until your whole body is in a state of relaxation.

Relaxed Breathing

Bring regularity and calm to your breath and create a sense of balance.


Mindfulness Meditation

Take a moment to firmly ground yourself in the present.

Successive Approximation

Break up large tasks into small steps to make them easier to accomplish.

Writing Self-Statements To Counteract Negative Thoughts

Write down the complete opposite of your automatic, negative thoughts.

Visualise The Best Parts Of Your Day

Bring to mind all the positive things that you experienced today.

Reframe Your Negative Thoughts

Shift your focus from the negative to the positive.

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Updated on 2019 Jan 10.

DISCLAIMER: This is not professional advice. The ideas and opinions presented here are my own, not necessarily those of my employer.