Identifying Cognitive Distortions

Everyone experiences cognitive distortions at some point; they’re really common! However, these ways of thinking can misinform us about reality and influence our emotions and behaviors in ways we don’t like. Review the list of cognitive distortions, identify cognitive distortions that are common for you, and try to think of ways to adjust the thoughts so that they are more neutral and accurate.

Holding on and Letting Go

This is an activity that helps child understand the basic premise of cognitive coping skills (challenging, refocusing) in order to decide what is important and in their control and what they can let go of in situations. This is a great activity to begin problem solving and autonomous decision making skills.

My DBT House

This is a tool that can be used to gain insight to children’s behaviors, feelings, support networks, and hopes for therapy. This is a great intervention to use for a Diagnostic Interview session with children ages 10 and up.

Feeling in my Heart

Kids are experiencing a variety of confusing emotions right now (as are adults!). Use the worksheet below or have clients draw out their own Feelings Heart on paper. Have the child choose a few emotions, and the therapist choose a few emotions to use in their heart. Ask the child to color in their heart using colors to represent how much of each emotion is in their heart right now. Normalize all of their emotions!

Functions of Emotions

Despite what we’re often told, happiness is not the default emotion for humans. The reality is that we need to experience all of our emotions; they each have a purpose. Our emotions provide us information that logic alone cannot give us.