Leone Centre Glossary



Overgeneralisation is a common cognitive distortion addressed in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). It is defined as drawing broad conclusions from a single event or experience, often leading to negative thinking patterns.

Common Issues

Overgeneralisation can contribute to persistent unhelpful thoughts and can result in anxiety and depression. Understanding this distortion is vital for CBT.

Definition and Impact

Overgeneralisation occurs when individuals make sweeping statements based on limited evidence. This cognitive distortion often leads to broad, negative conclusions about oneself, others, or the world.

Key Features of Recognising Overgeneralisation: Recognising and addressing overgeneralisation helps develop a more balanced perspective. It also aids in reducing anxiety and depression by challenging negative thought patterns.

Addressing Overgeneralisation: CBT provides structured approaches to identify and modify these cognitive distortions, promoting mental well-being.

Next Steps

For further support, get in touch with the Leone Centre to explore how CBT can help you manage cognitive distortions like over-generalisation.

About Overgeneralisation

Overgeneralisation occurs when a single negative event is seen as a perpetual pattern. For example, if one believes that one will fail all future exams after failing an exam, this is an example of overgeneralisation.

How It Helps

Recognising over-generalisation is the first step in changing negative thought patterns. CBT actions help challenge these distortions and create a more balanced outlook.

How It Works

CBT involves identifying specific overgeneralisations and restructuring them. This process encourages more accurate and helpful thinking.


What is overgeneralisation in CBT?
Overgeneralisation is a cognitive distortion where one makes broad conclusions based on a single event or limited information.
How does over-generalisation affect mental health?
It can lead to persistent negative thoughts, contributing to anxiety and depression.
Can CBT help with overgeneralisation?
Yes, CBT provides activities to identify and challenge over-generalisation, promoting a more balanced perspective.


  1. Verywell Mind: Cognitive Distortions
  2. Psychology Today: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  3. NCBI: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
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This glossary provides definitions of various counselling terms and approaches for informational purposes only, without implying endorsement or service provision