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Cognitive Distortions Printable List

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Cognitive distortions, also known as thinking errors, are patterns of thought that can cause individuals to have negative feelings toward themselves. They're quite common among young people who often deal with different sources of pressure and stress. These distortions are a key concept in CBT, and can cloud their judgment and increase feelings of distress and dissatisfaction.

The Cognitive Distortions Printable List presents an overview of 10 common cognitive distortions. It identifies and describes each distortion with clarity and examples, which helps them recognize these thought patterns in themselves. Examples of these distortions include catastrophizing, labeling, and emotional reasoning.

By knowing these cognitive distortions, kids and teens can learn to challenge them—which enhances their emotional resilience and promotes realistic thinking. To increase their understanding, they can seek resources like books and other educational materials.

Additionally, parents and teachers can offer support and encouragement by teaching mindfulness. For more coping strategies to overcome cognitive distortions, we recommend our Coping Skills For Worries, Racing, And Intrusive Thoughts handout.

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  1. Barriga, A. Q., Landau, J. R., Stinson, B. L., Liau, A. K., & Gibbs, J. C. (2000). Cognitive distortion and problem behaviors in adolescents. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 27(1), 36-56. https://doi.org/10.1177/0093854800027001003
  2. Buga, A., & Kaya, I. (2022). The role of cognitive distortions related academic achievement in predicting the depression, stress and anxiety levels of adolescents. International Journal of Contemporary Educational Research, 9(1), 103-114. https://doi.org/10.33200/ijcer.1000210
  3. Harrison, T. J., Ginsburg, G. S., Smith, I. C., & Orlando, C. M. (2022). Youth stress generation: An examination of the role of anxiety, anxiety symptoms and cognitive distortions. Anxiety, Stress, & Coping, 36(3), 304-319. https://doi.org/10.1080/10615806.2022.2076083
  4. Ishrat, S. (2022). Behavioural problems in adolescents - Associated cognitive distortions.
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