The following sheets identify some unhelpful thinking styles. These thinking styles are common in people who experience distress, and they tend to become habitual thought patterns without a person even noticing.
Although we’re not recruited to diagnose or treat people, we can use the following sheets to support people to notice their thoughts and reframe certain situations into something more helpful.
When we notice only what the filter allows us to notice, and we dismiss anything that doesn’t ‘fit’. Like looking through dark blinkers or 'gloomy specs', or only catching the negative stuff in our sponges, whilst anything more positive or realistic is sieved, ignored, dismissed or we make excuses for.
Assuming we know what others are thinking (usually about us).
Believing we know what’s going to happen in the future.
Seeing only the good and positive aspects in others, and comparing ourselves negatively against them.
Putting ourselves down, self-criticism, blaming ourselves for events or situations that are not totally our responsibility.
Thinking or saying ‘I should’ (or shouldn’t) and ‘I must’ puts pressure on ourselves, and sets up unrealistic expectations.
Imagining and believing that the worst possible thing will happen.
I feel bad so it must be bad! I feel anxious so I must be in danger.
Exaggerating the risk of danger, or the negatives. Minimising the odds of how things are most likely to turn out, or minimising positives.
Making judgements about events, ourselves, others, or the world, rather than describing what we actually see and have evidence for.
Believing that something or someone can be only good or bad, right or wrong, rather than anything in-between or ‘shades of grey’.
Current situations and events can trigger upsetting memories, leading us to believe that the danger is here and now, rather than in the past, causing us distress right now.