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CBC and Cognitive Distortions

Cognitive Behavioural Coaching (CBC) is a form of coaching that is based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). The aim of CBC is to help individuals identify and change thought patterns and behaviours that may be holding them back from achieving their goals. CBC differs from CBT in that it focuses on the present and future, often revolving around specific goals, rather than addressing past trauma or mental illness.1


One of the key concepts in CBC is the idea of cognitive distortions. These distortions are thought patterns that are irrational and often cause individuals to perceive situations in a negative light. These thought patterns can lead to anxiety, feelings of depression, and prevent us from achieving our goals. CBC isn’t about ignoring or suppressing the reality of our feelings but rather analysing them and seeing if there is another way that is more helpful to us on our journey.


Examples of common cognitive distortions include:

  • Black and white thinking: This is the tendency to see things in absolutes, such as "always" or "never". For example, "I always mess up" or "I never do anything right".

  • Overgeneralization: This is the tendency to draw broad conclusions based on limited evidence. For example, "I didn't get the job, so I'll never be successful".

  • Disqualifying the positive: This is the tendency to discount positive experiences or accomplishments. For example, "I got a good evaluation, but it was an easy year, so it doesn't really count".

  • Mind reading: This is the tendency to assume that you know what others are thinking without any evidence. For example, "She didn't say hello to me, so she must be mad at me".

  • Catastrophizing: This is the tendency to exaggerate the negative consequences of a situation. For example, "If I don't get this job, I'll never be able to pay my bills".

The good news is that cognitive distortions can be identified and changed. Through CBC, individuals can learn to recognize these thought patterns and challenge them with evidence. This can help individuals break free from negative thought patterns, improve their overall happiness and take positive next steps toward their ambitions.


In conclusion, Cognitive Behavioural Coaching can be an effective tool for individuals looking to improve their performance, their relationships, and achieve their goals by identifying and changing their cognitive distortions. Over the next few weeks we will explore CBC and cognitive distortions to help you tackle some of the challenges you’re currently facing.


This stuff is not easy, but I know you can do it!


M :)


1 If you’re struggling with past trauma or mental illness, different interventions would be more appropriate than coaching. These could include: counselling, therapy, CBT. Speak with your GP for more information.



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