Checklist of Cognitive Distortions
Copyright @ 1980 by David D. Burns, M.D. Adapted from 'Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy" (New York: William Morrow & Company, 1980; Signet, 1981)
All or nothing thinking: You look at things in absolute, black and white categories
Over-generalization: You view a negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat
Discounting the Positive: You insist that your accomplishments or positive qualities "don't count."
Jumping to conclusions: (A) Mind reading - you assume that people are reacting negatively to you when there's no definite evidence for this; (B) Fortune Telling - you arbitrarily predict things will turn out badly.
Magnification or Minimization: You blow things out of proportion or you shrink their importance inappropiately.
Emotional Reasoning: You reason from how you feel: "I feel like an idiot, so I really must be one." Or "I don't feel like doing this, so I'll put it off."
"Should Statements": You criticize yourself or other people with "Should" or "Shouldn'ts." "Musts," "Oughts," "Have tos" or similar offenders.
Labeling: You identify with your shortcomings. Instead of saying, "I made a mistake," you tell yourself, "I'm a jerk," or "a fool," or "a loser."
Personalization and Blame: You blame yourself for something you weren't entirely responsible for, or you blame other people and overlook ways that your own attitudes and behavior might contribute to a problem
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