Cognitive distortions are irrational thoughts that have the power to influence how you feel. Everyone has some cognitive distortions—they’re a normal part of being human. However, when cognitive distortions are too plentiful or extreme, they can be harmful.
One common type of cognitive distortion is called catastrophizing. When catastrophizing, the importance of a problem is exaggerated, or the worst possible outcome is assumed to be true. By learning to question your own thoughts using a CBT technique called cognitive restructuring, you can correct many of these distortions.
The Cognitive Restructuring: Decatastrophizing CBT worksheet includes prompts that will help your clients bring their thoughts into focus, and examine them for irrational thinking. This tool is helpful for teaching how thoughts can be questioned and amended.
1. Dattilio, F. M. (2000). Cognitive-behavioral strategies. Brief therapy with individuals and couples, 33-70.