Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Faulty thinking

Our thoughts are constantly helping us to interpret the world around us, describing what’s happening, and trying to make sense of it by helping us interpret events, sights, sounds, smells, feelings. Because of our experiences, life story, culture, religious beliefs and family values, we often make very different interpretations of situations than others.
On Faulty thinking
Cognitive therapy was developed with the belief that a person's experiences result in thoughts. These are connected with schemas or core beliefs developed from early life to create our view of the world and determine our emotional states and behaviours. Disorders are sometimes maintained by negative attitudes and distorted thinking. We must of all, at one point or another held views, or patterns of thoughts that might be seen as thinking errors, fantasies, fallacies and faulty thinking. And faulty ways of thinking are often more likely to occur when we are stressed.
Cognitive therapy focuses on altering faulty thinking patterns. The father of Cognitive therapy, Aaron Beck proposed six types of faulty thinking
  1. Drawing conclusions about oneself or the world without sufficient and relevant information. For example a man not hired by a potential employer perceives himself as totally worthless and believes he probably will never find employment of any sort.
  2. Drawing conclusion from very isolated details and events without considering the larger context or picture. For example a student who receives a C on an exam becomes depressed and stops attending classes even though he has A's and B's in his other courses. The student measures his worth by failures, errors, and weaknesses rather than by successes or strengths.
  3. Holding extreme beliefs on the basis of a single incident and applying it to a different or dissimilar and inappropriate situation. For example a depressed woman who has relationship problems with her boss may believe she is a failure in all other types of relationships.
  4. The process of overestimating the significance of negative events. For example a runner experiences shortness of breath and interprets it as a major health problem, possibly even an indication of imminent death.
  5. Relating external events to one another when no objective basis for such a connection is apparent. For example a student who raises his hand in class and is not called on by the teacher believes that the instructor dislikes or is biased against him.
  6. An "all-or-nothing," "good or bad," and "either-or" approach to viewing the world. For example at one extreme, a woman who perceives herself as "perfect" and immune from making mistakes; at the other extreme, a woman who believes she is totally incompetent.

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