Leone Centre Glossary

Cognitive Distortions

Cognitive Distortions

Cognitive distortions are common patterns in thinking that can negatively influence one’s perception of reality. In the context of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), recognising and addressing these distortions is vital for improving mental health.

Recognising Patterns

Many individuals experience cognitive distortions, which can exacerbate anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns. Understanding these distortions helps to identify unhelpful thought patterns.

Cognitive distortions in CBT refer to the biased ways of thinking that reinforce negative thought patterns. By identifying and challenging these distortions, individuals can create more balanced and constructive ways of thinking.

Key Features and Benefits

  1. Identification of common cognitive distortions
  2. Approaches to challenge and change unhelpful thoughts
  3. Improvement in overall mental well-being

Emphasising Convenience and Flexibility

Cognitive distortions can be addressed through various CBT activites, making it a flexible approach suitable for diverse needs.

About Cognitive Distortions

Cognitive distortions are ways of thinking that reinforce negative thought patterns and perceptions. Examples include all-or-nothing thinking, overgeneralisation, and catastrophising.

How Addressing Cognitive Distortions Helps

Addressing cognitive distortions can lead to improved mental health by promoting a more balanced perspective. It helps individuals develop healthier thinking patterns and reduce the impact of negative thoughts.

How Addressing Cognitive Distortions Works

The process of identifying and challenging cognitive distortions in CBT involves recognising these unhelpful thoughts, evaluating their validity, and replacing them with more balanced thoughts.


What are cognitive distortions?
Cognitive distortions are biased ways of thinking that reinforce negative thought patterns and perceptions.
How can CBT help with cognitive distortions?
CBT provides actions to identify, challenge, and change unhelpful thoughts, promoting healthier thinking patterns.
Can cognitive distortions affect anyone?
Yes, cognitive distortions are common and can affect anyone. Recognising and addressing them is beneficial for mental well-being.


  1. Verywell Mind – What Are Cognitive Distortions?
  2. Healthline – Cognitive Distortions
  3. Psychology Today – Cognitive Distortions
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This glossary provides definitions of various counselling terms and approaches for informational purposes only, without implying endorsement or service provision