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What are the 10 cognitive distortions and the 11 irrational beliefs people have in their u conscious?


Aug 9, 2009
I’ve trained my mind for decades on Dr. David Burns 10 has cognitive thought distortions in the human unconscious. Dr. Burns is a CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) doctor.

In a list of 1,000 best self books on a myriad of issues, Dr. Burns Feeling Good book is ranked #1. Meanwhile Dr. Burns Feeling Food Handbook is #2 on the list. These books are reader friendly for a layperson.

I’ve also familiarized my mind, feelings, thoughts and behavior keeping in mind Dr. Albert E. Ellis 11 irrational beliefs that human beings not aware of have in their human unconscious.

Dr. Aaron Beck is considered the father of cognitive therapy. I’ve read Dr. Beck’s books and they are dry. Dr. Albert E. Ellis, the founder of REBT (rational emotive behavior therapy) writings are reader friendly for an average person.

I’m aware of Cognitive Schemas that lie dormant in a persons unconscious belief system.

Added to that I am aware of false positivisms and wives tales that don’t bear the brunt of human reason and judicious discernment.


1. All or Nothing Thinking : We think in all or nothing, black and white, right or wrong categories, rather than seeing things more objectively, calmly, rationally and from many angles of truth.

2. Overgeneralization : You pick out one fact, comment or event and make it the totality of your sum experience.

Example: You made a mistake on a test, and think you always or always will make mistakes.

3. Mental Filter : You pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively so that your vision of all reality becomes darkened, like the drop of ink that colors the entire beaker of water.

Ex. You get one bad compliment and it ruins your entire day.

4a. Mind Reading Jumping to Conclusions : You think you know what someone is thinking of you. Many times a negative label.

4b. Fortune Teller-Jumping to Conclusions : You anticipate that things will go bad for you.

5a. Magnification : You magnify your characteristics, attributes, and successes in your mind. The narcissism effect.

5b. Minimizing : You minimize other people's characteristics, virtues, successes, or attributes.

6. Disqualifying the Positive : You reject positive experiences by insisting they don't count for some reason or other. In this way you can maintain a negative belief that is contradicted by your every day experiences.

7. Emotional Reasoning: I feel it to be true so it must be true.

8. Should statements. Self explanatory. I should/ought/must/have to; they/he/she-ought/must/should/have to; the world or reality or life-should/ought/must/have to.

9a. Labeling: labeling, name calling, pejoratives of self or others

9b. Mislabeling-labeling: Involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded.

10. Personalization: You blame yourself for something not in your control.

I.E. You feel responsible for another person's actions or feelings. Or you blame yourself for how an event or experience turned out, that was not to your liking.

The above 10 distortions are taken from David D. Burns; Feeling Good (1980).

Dr. Ellis 11 irrational beliefs.
1. It is a dire necessity for adult humans to be loved or approved by virtually every significant other person in their community.

2. One absolutely must be competent, adequate and achieving in all important respects or else one is inadequate, worthless person.

3. People absolutely must act considerately and fairly and they are damnable villains if they do no. They are the bad acts.

4. It is awful and terrible when things are not the way one would very much like them to be.

5. Emotional disturbance is mainly externally caused and people have or no ability to increase or decrease their dysfunctional feelings and behaviors.

6. If something is or may be dangerous or fearsome, then one should be constantly and excessively concerned about it and should keep dwelling on the possibility of it occurring.

7. One cannot and must not face life’s responsibilities and difficulties and it’s easier to avoid them.

8. One must be quite dependent on others and you need them and you cannot run one’s own life.

9. One’s past history is an all important determiner of one’s present behavior and because something once strongly affected one’s life it should indefinitely have a similar effect.

10. Other peoples disturbances are horrible and one must feel upset about them.

11. There is invariably a right, precise and perfect solution to human problems and it is awful if this perfect solution is not found.