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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
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What is the relationship between cognitive distortions and

Resolved Question:

What is the relationship between cognitive distortions and cognitive interventions?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

There are vast differences between cognitive distortions and cognitive interventions. Let's take a look at cognitive distortions first.

 

The idea of or concept of cognitive distortions was popularized by David D. Burns, a professor at Stanford University School of Medicine. He, as well as his followers, state that cognitive distortions are flaws in logical thinking, also known as fallacies. There are a variety of cognitive distortions, and almost all of them take a truth and alter it or ignore it in some manner. For example, the distortion called Emotional Reasoning takes emotion and increases it's importance dramatically and ignores logic such as "I feel you should be my friend after all I have done for you. Therefore, you must be my friend." And the person really isn't a friend.

 

Another such example is something called a Mental Filter. This is where you focus only on the negative aspects of life but ignore the good or positive aspects of life. For example, your wedding was beautiful in every way except that one of the roses on the cake was smashed. Therefore, the whole wedding was a disaster.

 

Cognitive Interventions seek to change dysfunctional or disordered behavior by the application of healthier learned thinking. For example, Albert Ellis, a famous Cognitive theorist, says that many people believe certain dysfunctional conclusions (these could be considered Cognitive Distortions). However, with the application of appropriate logic and learning, these Cognitive Distortions could be altered into Cognitive Interventions which are healthier views of the same issue.

 

To flesh this out further, imagine that you are at a party and you know very few people. A Cognitive Distortion might be that you feel disliked and even minimized as a person because no one is speaking to you. However, a Cognitive Intervention would state that it is not possible to be known by all people and that the fallacy of "everybody ought to love me" is not only unhealthy but is harming you and preventing you from developing new friendships at the party.

 

Basically, a Cognitive Distortion is an unhealthy view of life due to flawed thoughts. However, a Cognitive Intervention attacks that fallacy and replaces it with a healthier, more realistic truth.

 

I hope this helps,

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5559
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
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