Aug 10, 2020
Today, the Cognitive Distortion Starter Kit Continues with
Rhonda begins by reading a beautiful emails from a listener who was greatly inspired and helped by the personal work Marilyn Coffee did on several previous podcast. I also give a brief shout out for my new book, Feeling Great, which can be pre-ordered on Amazon now (see below for the link).
Rhonda and David begin with a brief overview of Emotional Reasoning. this is a term i coined when I first created the list of ten cognitive distortions in the mid-to late 1970s. There is the definition:
Emotional Reasoning is when you reason from how you feel. Here are several examples:
Emotional Reasoning is a distortion because your feelings all result from your thoughts. And if your thoughts are distorted, then your emotions / feelings will not reflect reality. Sometimes, your feelings are no more realistic than the images you see in funhouse mirrors in an amusement park.
This is worth knowing because for decades mental health professionals have promoted the ideas that getting in touch with your feelings is the key to mental health. There's truth in everything, and this is sometimes true. Being open with your feelings can be an important key to intimacy and to genuine relationships with others.
But your feelings can also deceive you. For example, the feeling of hopelessness is always based on distortions and is never true. But sometimes believe it so strongly that they attempt suicide as the only escape from their suffering.
David and Rhonda discuss examples of emotional reasoning and the techniques that can be helpful, including, but not limited to:
David describes a father who was convinced he was a bad father because he shouted at his sons, and Rhonda describes an aspiring writer she recently treated who felt like she was dull and unimportant prior to a meeting with prospective agents.
We are nearing the end of the distortion series, but still have two mega-important distortions to discuss:
David mentions that Emotional Reasoning is not only important in emotional problems like depression and anxiety, but also in anger and conflict with others, as well as racial and religious bias. You feel like other racial or religious groups are inferior, and you feel superior, so you think you are right!
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Rhonda and David