Mental Filtering: Why you may only notice the Negative- Cognitive Distortion #4
Mental filtering is the cognitive distortion where we only see one aspect of a situation, usually the negative side of it when it comes to depression or anxiety. You focus on the negative and disregard or filter out all the positive. You pick out a single negative detail and hyperfocus on this instead of everything else going on.
If you can’t see anything positive, then your thoughts are lying to you.
Mental filtering makes us more anxious, but anxiety makes us mental filter more- because anxiety attunes our brain to threats, making it so that we’re more likely to notice the bad.
Mental filtering makes us more depressed, when we only notice the bad, life is depressing. But when we feel crappy, when we feel depressed, we’re more likely to mental filter.
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Therapy in a Nutshell, LLC and the information provided by Emma McAdam, is solely intended for informational and entertainment purposes and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis, or treatment regarding medical or mental health conditions. Although Emma McAdam is a licensed marriage and family therapist, the views expressed on this site or any related content should not be taken for medical or psychiatric advice. Always consult your physician before making any decisions related to your physical or mental health.
I’m Emma McAdam, I’m a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I have worked in various settings of change and growth since 2004. My experience includes Juvenile Corrections, Adventure Therapy programs, Wilderness Therapy programs, an Eating Disorder Treatment Center, a Residential Treatment Center, and I currently work in an Outpatient Therapy Clinic.
In therapy I use a combination of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Systems Theory, Positive Psychology, and a Bio-Psycho-Social approach to treating mental illness and other challenges we all face in life. The ideas from my videos are frequently adapted from multiple sources, many of them come from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, especially the work of Steven Hayes, Jason Luoma, and Russ Harris. The sections on stress and the mind body connection derive from the work of Stephen Porges (the Polyvagal theory), Peter Levine (Somatic Experiencing) Francine Shapiro (EMDR) and Bessel Van Der Kolk. I also rely heavily on the work of the Arbinger Institute for my overall understanding of our ability to choose our life direction.
And deeper than all of that, the Gospel of Jesus Christ orients my personal worldview, sense of security, peace, hope and love. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/comeuntochrist/believe
If you are in crisis please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ or 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or your local emergency services.
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