Thinking Traps VI: Emotional Reasoning

“Something bad is going to happen I can feel it.” Claudia was about to start a new job, the first step toward her dream job as a designer. “This is going to end badly”. “There she was laughing, rubbing his shoulder, rubbing my face in it!” Oscar’s classmate and former love interest Amanda had recently started dating Jayden, a mutual...[ read more ]

Name it to Tame it

“Then she accused me of being the bully!” Sandro was beginning to rant. His face was red and his eyes were moist. His ex-partner had just denied him access to their 6-year-old son. I asked him how he felt. “Sh*t!” He replied. “But what kind of sh*t”, I queried. He looked at me with blank confusion. Lisa Starr and her...[ read more ]

The Vulnerability Schema

Katia came to see me after a work team-building weekend. She was “encouraged” to partake in some fear-inducing and physically challenging exercises. She refused. “There was no way I was going on that rope bridge, that thing could fall at any time”. This refusal lead to a conversation with her boss who suggested she attend therapy. “He opened my eyes...[ read more ]

Thinking Traps Part IV: Catastrophising

“My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened”  – Michel de Montaigne Imagine you have a superpower – the ability to see calamities before they occur. You wake in the morning and you see that your boss will call you into her office to discuss your poor performance. You go out to a movie with...[ read more ]

Happy First Anniversary!

Today the Justin Hendriks Psychology blog turns a big one! This blog has been a labour of love for me, I really enjoy sharing thoughts, ideas, research etc. I have been trying very hard to maintain weekly positing, and hopefully I can maintain this throughout Year 2! To celebrate this milestone, here are the top 5 blog posts from the...[ read more ]

Thinking Traps Part III: Labelling

Apprentice carpenter, Steve, loves loud music, drinking beer and violent sports. He was seriously injured in a fight he started while out on the weekend. Label: Jerk Pasqual has never had a girlfriend. He is currently unemployed. He spends most of time gaming or trawling YouTube and Reddit. Label: Loser Krystal fired three staff members. She has been rude and...[ read more ]

Be Antifragile not Resilient

  What does not kill me makes me stronger – Friedrich Nietzsche In case you haven’t heard, resilience is one of the great psychological buzzwords of the day. Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. My clients often tell me that their schools and workplaces champion the idea of psychological resilience. Isn’t it great that institutions are concerned...[ read more ]

Thinking Traps II: Black and White Thinking

Part II in the Thinking Traps series. Looking at Cognitive Distortions from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) “If she can’t be counted on, she isn’t worth knowing”. Carol* was on the verge of breaking up with one of her latest best friends, Renee. Carol separated the world into two types of people – good people and bad people. She had thought...[ read more ]

Failure Schema

“I f***ed it up again”. Jeff* was frustrated. He had left his preparation for his job interview to the last minute and it had felt like a disaster. They asked me some pretty basic questions about my past work history, and I sounded like an idiot – such a loser. In reality, Jeff was a competent and highly regarded in...[ read more ]

Thinking Traps Part I: Jumping to Conclusions

This is the first of a series of posts on Thinking Traps, also called Cognitive Distortions or Stinky Thinking. Thinking Traps are common mistakes of reasoning and logic that seem to naturally occur in the human mind. A primary aim of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is to help people identify and challenge these unhelpful thoughts and thus change their mental...[ read more ]

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