Getting Unstuck: Moving Away from Cognitive Distortions – an Interview with Courtney Ackerman

Cognitive distortions are self-limiting patterns of thinking we demonstrate in life. These mental biases include “all or nothing thinking,” “overgeneralizing,” and “no control fallacy.” Sound familiar? In this episode, we hear from Courtney Ackerman on how to identify and begin to manage these patterns. Courtney is the author of My Pocket Positivity, a collection of “140 quick and effective exercises to help you achieve and maintain a positive mindset and face any challenge with optimism and confidence.” She is also researcher and regular contributor to the Positive Psychology Program.

My Pocket Positivity.jpg

Listen for:

• How positive psychology differs from the more traditional focus on abnormal psychology.

• When and how we develop cognitive distortions.

• The most important first step you can take to rid yourself of cognitive distortions.

• Why removing a cognitive distortion will feel like an irrational exercise to someone trying to make a productive change.

• The benefit of removing cognitive distortions.

• How cognitive distortion might show up in the work place.

• The importance of cognitive behavioral therapy.

The worksheet was developed at James Madison University.

The worksheet was developed at James Madison University.

After listening to the episode:

Check out the article that Courtney wrote on cognitive distortions and read down to where she briefly describes 16 such behaviors, which in addition to the three we mentioned above include “jumping to conclusions,” “catastrophizing,” “should statements,” and “always being right.”

After listening to the episode:.

If any of the behaviors ring true for you – lucky you if they don’t – consider downloading the worksheet at right, “Modifying Rules and Assumptions” which Jeff and Courtney walked through during the podcast.

Jeff Ikler