As a clinician evaluating a client, it is important to see their viewpoints as well as their cognitive distortions that are inhibiting their well-being. It is important that counselors and clinicians evaluate and discuss by the use of categorization. “This helps people see more clearly the nature of their unrealistic thinking, reminds them that other people have had similar distorted cognitions, and gives them a tool for assessing subsequent thoughts.” (Seligman & Reichenberg, 2014 p. 302). Three of many cognitive distortions and ways to modify the cognitions will be discussed below. “Should” and “must” statements can have disabling effects on a client’s thoughts and how they approach situations. I believe that the use of Reattributing blame is a strategy that clinicians can use to aid in having the client focus on the root of the issue rather than attributing the outcome to a particular person or themselves. “Through the use of dialogue and asking questions that get to the heart of the problem, clinicians can help the client look at the situation more clearly.” Seligman & Reichenberg, 2014 p.304.). Mind reading is another congnitive distortion that can cause a great deal of arguments and issues when one tries to act like they know what the other person is thinking or feeling. The use of role-playing a dialogue between old and new thoughts would be very effective with this type of cognitive distortion. “This can help people clarify changes in their thinking and solidify rational thoughts.” (Seligman & Reichenberg, 2014 p 305.). All or nothing or polarized thinking is another cognitive distortion that is an extreme “black or white” way of life. An effective type of modification for this behavior would be challenging absolute statements. The use of this type of strategy to modify the client’s way of thinking is useful because it clarifies how the behavior truly is. After seeing the issue as a continuum, “the clinician gives the client an opportunity to...
References: Seligman, L. & Reichenberg L.W., (Eds.). (2014). Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy Systems, Strategies, and Skills. (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.
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