If you feel depressed, you may have an unhelpful inner critic who holds you to unreasonable standards in your everyday life. Your inner critic can create cognitive distortions by repeating unhelpful statements in your mind every day. You may directly experience your inner critic’s statements as your thoughts. However, these thoughts can run through your mind so fast that you may not even be aware of they exist. Rather the inner critic can affect you subconsciously. The critic’s unhelpful thoughts can become reality if left unchecked, as they travel from your thoughts to affect you in your everyday life.
Dr. Aaron Beck, the father of Cognitive Therapy, discusses the cognitive distortions that can damage your self-esteem and contribute to depression. The most common cognitive distortions leading to a state of depression are as follows:
1. Arbitrary inference – Drawing conclusions without corroborating evidence.
2. Overgeneralization – Viewing a single event as a basis for a never-ending pattern of defeat. By this pattern of thinking, if you failed once, you think you’ll always fail.
3. Global labeling – automatically using derogatory labels to describe yourself, rather than accurately describing your qualities. For example, instead of saying, “I made a mistake,” the global labellist will herself “I’m a jerk” or “I’m a loser.”
4. Filtering – selectively dwelling on the negative, and ignoring the positive.
5. Selective abstraction – being overly attentive to details while ignoring the total context. (i.e. failing to see the forest for the trees).
6. Personalization – Erroneously attributing external events to yourself. You assume that everything has something to do with you. You compare yourself to everyone else negatively.
7. Polarized thinking – this is “All-or-Nothing” thinking. You react to people and events in a dichotomous, “either/or”, and black-white manner with no middle ground. You have to be perfect, or you are worthless.
8. Self-blame – Consistently blaming yourself for things that may not really be your fault.
9. Other-blame – blaming others while overlooking ways that you contributed to the problem.
10. Mind reading – Assuming that others don’t like you and/or are angry with you without any real evidence that your belief in this is correct.
11. Fortune –Telling – Predicting that things well turn out negatively.
12. Magnification & Minimization – blowing things out of proportion or, alternatively, shrinking them out of sight.
13. Control fallacies – Feeling you have total responsibility for everybody, and everything; or, alternatively, feeling that you have no control over anyone or anything.
14. Emotional reasoning – Believing things are a certain way because you feel they are that way. You assume that things are only bad as you feel about them.
15. Should thinking – Using “shoulds”, “shouldn’ts” , “musts”, “oughts”, and “have tos.”
Cognitive therapy is an extremely effective treatment for depression. This is because mood and emotion are intimately connected to our thought processes. Cognitive therapy treats depression by targeting your thought processes.
If you have depression, you should examine the way in which your patterns of thought influence your interactions with people, and your responses to events. Observing, recording, and correcting your "unhelpful" patterns of thought, and learning to rein in your inner critic, can help you feel better, and put you on to the path towards a happier life.

Author's Bio: 

Licensed clinical psychologist with over 12 years counseling experience working with adults, children, adolescents, families and couples at community clinics and in private practice in San Francisco and Bay Area.

米国 カリフォルニア州認定 サイコロジスト/セラピスト/臨床心理士

米国心理学会 公認会員

Has rich experience working with a wide range of issues, including, but not limited to: Anxiety; Trauma; Self-esteem; Emotional Health; Relationships; Parenting; Childhood; Addiction of all kinds; Anger; Depression; ADD/ADHD; Eating disorders; Workplace issues; Motivation & Purpose; Personal growth.

Integrated working style including Humanistic/Person-centered, Cognitive-behavior, Mindfulness, Psychoanalytic/psychodynamic, Stress management, Image work, Solution focused therapy, and Therapeutic Lifestyle coaching.

Tailors treatment to client's unique situation, culture, personality, needs and goals.

Bilingual in Japanese/English.

Continuing a variety of training in trauma treatment (EMDR, CBT, ACT) and crisis intervention.

Maintains a private practice (part-time) in San Francisco financial district and Burlingame, as well as community service.

Daytime, evenings and weekends are available.

Website: www.drakira.com
Phone/Toll-Free number 888-798-2272
Email: drakiraolsen@gmail.com