Hi. Coming up is an absolutely amazing discussion between Kerry Bailey from Sydney Hypno and myself, Amanda Dounis from the Positive Thinking Clinic. We spend approximately the next hour talking about Twisted Thinking or technically called cognitive distortions.

And the amazing thing is everybody can experience this. And you can also find yourself in a situation where youre running one pattern so intense or so severe that it can really disrupt your way of living,.. your daily routines and so it can be a problem. We show you, as we discuss, we define each cognitive distortion, we give examples. We give some solutions, we give ideas. 

It’s just a really friendly discussion for anybody that’s interested to learn more about it or to find ways to beat it or just to give you the confidence, or it’s just educational. So I really hope you get to enjoy this conversation. This is Amanda Dounis from the Positive Thinking Clinic. Right at the end if you want to find out more about that, Karen or myself, I spend about two to three minutes talking about us, how you can connect with us where we’re from what our interests are. 

So I hope you watch till the end or at least listen to the end. 

Disclaimer: this transcript was mechanically transcribed and the author has done her best to make certain grammatical corrections and ensure that it makes sense.  The true version is in the video. What follows below is slightly modified to help the reader make sense of the content. Please respect that spoken language often transcribes with confusion and some doubling up. Regardless, enjoy.

The conversation is between Kerry Bailey and Amanda Dounis. 

Who says what, is not important for the purpose of the transcript and so this has been left out.  Interested readers are more concerned with the content.  I hope you enjoy the read.

Alternatively just watch the you tube for a different experience.

Welcome back Kerry, It’s so nice to have you on another episode yet again. Thank you so much for joining in. Thanks for having me again.

So Kerry each time you and I get together we talk about something specific an absolutely relevant to psychotherapy and hypnotherapy and counseling or overall wellness for mental health and overall emotional wellness and strategies and just different topics that our listeners can be interested in.

And so today we’ve decided that we’re going to speak about cognitive distortions which is also known as a twisted way of thinking without offending anybody and cognitive distortions they’re common. What’s your experience with committee distortions. Well you know when people are in the problem space it’s usually because there’s something that’s not quite right with the way that they’re thinking so.

And the reason that people stay in the problem space is because they don’t know how to not do that kind of thinking. So when people do come to see us usually there’s some level or some quality of at least one of those component of those thinking processes that they are. That’s not working. And sometimes there’s more than one bit but usually there’s something that’s just a repetitive thought or repetitive way of thinking that they’re doing that actually keeps them stuck in that bind.

And so it’s like another definition of it is distorted thinking or unreasonable thinking or the way you and I have learnt patterns Absolutely. So often the way that I usually say how this is for them that they’re unhelpful thinking stalls the stalls that don’t serve them.

So learning some new styles of thinking that will serve them to replace the old styles is the way to go and one of them may be all or nothing thinking when you look at things in absolute terms and it’s like either black or white categories. And from there you can you can usually determine this by the language that they use.

We we can also see this within ourselves as to the language we use with our selves and we can see if we’re not wearing the black and white or we’re flexible. And so what I’ve learned in time and what I like to discuss with clients and for our listeners who are interested it serves you most of the time to be flexible.

For example a lot of people struggle when they think that their a situation is not perfect then it’s an absolute failure. But that’s not true. That’s that thinking black or white. Or for example another one is where someone is on a diet they’re watching what they’re eating and then they have one spoon of ice cream and I said I just ruined my diet and so they go off and eat anything they want.

But the truth is you didn’t ruin your diet and I’ve got this example from Gordon. He said all you did is have one mouthful of icecream so we say here that this type of thinking doesn’t serve you. And so I like to explore this with clients and offer them the opportunity to have a think where they do that in their lives and therefore where they can step out of that.

That’s that’s a great thing to do to give them a an ability to consider and look at what they’re doing. That pattern in going on here I see where I do that even just if they’re saying something like going you know when I’m not perfect. So therefore I failed. You know that kind of all or nothing and you can sort of say well you know how does that.

Assist you like it’s not actually something that’s going to benefit you to think like that. So he imagined thinking of it in this style. I’m not perfect but I’m learning all the time and I’m improving all the time so giving them a new style. And letting them play with that I think is very important too. And that’s right. So we teach them how to negotiate with themselves and how to have that conversation.

All that discussion that a real simple way to to learn to do this is imagine you have a child there in the child mind. And so it’s okay that they haven’t learnt how to negotiate with themselves or how to dismiss that thought pattern. And yet we as adults intervene to demonstrate or to role model that. Oh okay. That didn’t work out.

But how about that then we introduce to them coping skills or language skills so that cognitively they can adjust their style of thinking. And then this becomes useful if they continue to practice that straight through their teens and into their adult life. Actually I love the fact that you’ve linked the whole what they say. Because the thing is the words that you use so integral into how you experience life and how you express yourself.

So learning a new way of thinking and talking actually gives you a new way of behaving. So you know our language that we use sometimes people are quite, I suppose accidental with their language and they get into patterns of language that just don’t serve them either. And you know that thinking of all.

If if I don’t have this then I can have that or you know that black and white thinking and I’m not understanding this all shades of gray in between and that actually give life all its color and all its meaning and all its playfulness and interest I mean that if you look just at black and white you don’t see the shadows then the shades that are in between them. It’s not as rich an experience. That’s right. That that’s very right.

And we’ve always known those who are flexible usually achieve more. And so I like to with any time that I go through any of the cognitive distortions or unreasonable ways of thinking or patterns that we detect with clients I do get them to write down their personal examples so that they can do their own self reflection and then from there say okay I recognize that I have this pattern. So the next thing is so what will you do so that you can practice a new way of being.

Because that’s what the unconscious mind wants practice to learn something absolutely unlearn something. Yeah absolutely yeah. The thing is you know it’s sort of like one of the things that I think is really important is that people it’s what they call emotional reasoning. That’s one of the other cognitive distortions or unhelpful thinking styles that comes off that. Because what happens is often people say to themselves oh you know because I feel embarrassed I must be stupid Well no.

The thing is often people experience things in a way that no one else sexually viewing and it’s expected. So I would say to people feelings on evidence get real evidence from elsewhere not internally don’t take your internal feelings as evidence of something you know often people will feel. Yeah. Often people will think oh you know I’m going to go into a room full of strangers and they’re all gonna be looking at me I’m gonna be so self-conscious I can’t believe it.

And yet I actually ask them to think about what if you’re thinking that then what are other people thinking perhaps they’re also having those same things about themselves where they’re going oh everybody’s looking at me. So everybody’s in a room going away everybody is looking at me and feeling self-conscious. Well if that’s the case then nobody’s looking at anybody for anybody to feel self-conscious. So it’s not necessary. And they will find that amusing because it’s like yeah I hadn’t thought of that.

So what we need to do is for external evidence not look at our own feelings as evidence or truth of what is reality so our message to listeners is do not reason from how you feel. Absolutely. That’s really important. You can’t say oh I feel hopeless so I must really be hopeless. That’s that’s not true. Like you said where’s the evidence. And that’s not a good again.

That’s a pattern or I feel stupid so I must be stupid or I don’t feel like doing this. And so I’ll put it off no you might not feel like doing this and that doesn’t mean you put it off. You do not reason from how you feel. I was once asked Do you feel like going to the gym every single day. I was baffled. I’ve never thought about that. But just go. You mentioned that I was stopped to reason from how I feel if I allowed myself that opportunity.

Kerry, I know you’re going to say oh I’ve got a bit of a headache. Oh it’s cold out there so cold and so maybe I’ll make a win an election that opportunity to even come into my narrative at all. So do not. How do you feel. It’s actually interesting. I often say to clients you know they’ll say oh you know what. You know it’s like giving up cigarettes or you know stopping smoking. And they say ….so I’m still a smoker.

But did you have another one. No. Well then you’re not smoking. You experimented a little bit. I actually don’t think it’s necessary to experiment to see whether or not you’ve got to progress. Why bother. Just had progress. But you know if people do have a little backstab then it doesn’t mean that there’s a failure. But people will often say Oh but I feel like it’s like no it’s it’s okay. You don’t actually have to be stuck in that feeling you can actually look at the feeling go.

It’s not appropriate. And you can actually say that that feeling isn’t really evidenced by the results of what’s going on so I can actually step away from it and not be involved in that feeling not every feeling needs to be acknowledged and not every thought needs to be acknowledged some just are not worth dwelling on at all. Yeah that’s right. That’s a very very good point.

So again it’s really important that clients or each steps individuals who are listening take the time out to actually write down their own personal examples and think or self reflect to do that and then decide is it helpful to do that. Maybe sometimes it is flexible. But most of the time I’m going to say it’s not that useful and therefore look for a different pattern Yeah.

And sometimes they might want to. Experience a different pattern which we can help them with. I can I can actually imagine themselves doing something in a scenario differently and practice it. It’s an interesting thing. There was actually a study done many years ago where I had sports people are actually I think of basketballs and they had three different groups.

One group was actually doing just the work so they were going and they were just trying to you know do the goals and then they had another group without showing them to do the goals and then actually to think about the successful one how they did that they muscle memory during that goal and then they had a third group and that third group only thought about the best way of doing the goal. The best way scoring that and the interesting bit. Yes.

And the interesting thing is people who practice their moves that actually think about going through their moves do better than the ones who just do it. 

So the thing is that golfers do this they will practice a golf swing without a golf club in them in their hands. They’ll practice a swing and then they can do it in their minds. People who do a basketball people tenants you’ll often see people doing things where they’re actually practicing in them or never might have a slight body movement they might have a total body movement.

But the thing is in their mind’s eye in their minds muscle memory they start to practice the things that work for them. And that is what makes them more successful and that’s exactly what coaches do with them exactly what what what are the Olympians thinking just before takeoff the swimmers so you see the cameras going past their faces and they just if they’re not greeting you they’re actually in the zone what are they visualizing they’re visualizing their success their personal best or winning.

So they really have gone through an exercise of coaching their minds and hence how wonderful is it to be in hypnotherapy to be able to take our clients through this journey of positive visualization. Absolutely. In fact it’s really interesting when people go into that positive visualization space it’s basically a self hypnosis.

So we teach people how to find that space so that they can actually work through their success process so they come out at the end with the result they want and always they plan for the result we want. Then practice the result that you want. So actually you can visualize that you’ve done the thing that you needed to do with a positive result and then work back from that to get all of those things in place and then practice it so that you can get the result that you’re planning for.

So it’s really interesting that your thought process the way that you do things practicing it imagining it setting the goal and then practicing to get to that goal.

It’s a winning formula and we use a nice technique in hypnotherapy too where we get the clients into the state into the hypnotic state and then they move themselves forward to where they’ve achieved the goal and then they meet that was the self of this the self that’s actually what we had achieved that and then they teach themselves what skills they needed to learn to to become that yes then they bring that back into the present and then they know what they need to do without us knowing any part of this they do it all by themselves Yeah I actually love that that’s what I like to watch.

Very content free. So that’s where the I’m guiding people not necessarily having to know everything that’s going on or the full story just the things that they have going on and guiding them through those thought processes so they get to that end goal and go yeah. Okay. So I not only can do it. I know how I can do it and I can actually start to thread in ways that whole process into everything they’re doing from day one.

And so it becomes their way of being in their way of doing things and we all know that the trend state is where you have the heightened skill sets that’s where you really just do things because you’ve got that conscious competence you’ve created and then you get to the unconscious competence where it’s just doable and with ease. And that’s one of the really important things I think that. Is a gift that comes with the hypnosis and that is that you actually get the ability to get yourself into it.

Trent state much faster because you start to understand your process and you start to understand that pattern when you get into that really focused concentrated coach state as you do when you’re about to do a great performance perhaps on stage where you get into a great sales presentation or business presentation or you’re going to run a race so you just get to go into the gym and really hit your marks and go and do the work that you need to do to get the health results that you want.

Yeah that’s that’s right and that’s very well said. So I guess if we were to move on to another twisted way of thinking or helpful way of thinking or technically cognitive distortion how about this should statements where you criticized yourself or you criticize other people with shoes or … or muscles or you ought to when you have to or other similar which we call a …

So for example you tell yourself that things should be the way that you hoped or expected them to be. After playing a difficult piece on the piano or any other musical instrument a gifted pianist may say to themselves Ah I shouldn’t have made so many mistakes and this made her feel so disgusting. And this is a story I’m quoting that she quit practicing for several days or because of the shorts and I should have done this and that was disgusting and I should.

So you could be gifted in something where you could be talented in any area but because you should have done better or you shouldn’t have done it like that. That’s enough that’s powerful enough to stop you from practicing or progressing. That’s how deadly the shots are and the oughts and shouldn’t have and all of those that way of thinking yeah they’re very the shooter. Coulda woulda. They really can be very detrimental.

Often people who are grieving go through the coulda shoulda if only sort of thing as well and it’s it’s kind of interesting that there isn’t actually any should or or rules about how you do certain things. Of course these cultural rules and these religious rules and things like that. But when it comes down to something being in the past something is done it’s really a lesson time it’s like as you call it.

You know that time where you’re learning if something should have been isn’t that why. Well perhaps it’s best to get things in the place that they can be as close to that as they can be but they don’t have to be exactly that. You know getting that agility to go yet like it might have been better could have been like that but I’m going gonna work with what I’ve got. Yeah. And it’s just as dangerous when they put that language the future as well or should do this. I need to do that and I should have plans like this and you know I should and I ought to and all of or not all that stuff.

So it’s the word of frustration if you want frustration right now or you want frustration in the future. That’s the word. So it really if you don’t want frustration in your life. Don’t don’t continue to use that kind of phrase or wording because it just going to lead to that level of anger as well. I mean that’s that’s the other thing.

Frustration and anger and the thing is that you know you can you can only do your best I can only do this. That’s right. When I have clients in and desert and it’s safe to do so I usually have a playful conversation with them until right from now on you’re not allowed to use word should especially if they’ve demonstrated that that’s all they live off so it’s really about introducing a mindfulness activity to them so that when they start using that language of should because it’s a cognitive distortion.

Stop yourself because that’s actually landed you in the field of trouble. Absolutely. Let’s see what else have we got from community while I was thinking that. An interesting one is is our mental Phil Dalton sorry. Phil so only paying attention to certain types of evidence and perhaps only noticing your values and not noticing successes.

I’ll give a little bit of example and people often go on and thought of that. But when you’ve decided that your like you really really want something say you’re looking at the type of light. So you’ve just decided to buy a certain type of car. All of a sudden all you’re going to start seeing is that kind of car every way or perhaps a woman who has just you know she’s wondering if she’s pregnant or not.

And so all day for the next few days before she tests she’s going to be looking at, all she’s going to see is pregnant women and babies. Yes because that’s what her focus is on. Or you know even when it’s you know you maybe you’re sort of going oh what will I cook for dinner and I’m gonna get this certain thing and as soon as you start looking at all you see is all of the evidence of that being ready. So the filters that we apply the thoughts that we have around we know obviously the filters we’ve got.

They actually start to form what our focus starts to go. So if you stop focusing on things that are negative then you’re going to find evidence of negative things. If you start to focus on finding positive things you’re going to find the evidence that’s positive. So being able to understand that and unhelpful way of thinking is having the wrong mental filters. So let’s start to give yourself some different ways of focusing by having different filters that allow you to see.

I hear I can do that or hear that’s different when I can go giving you possibilities. Yeah that’s right. Possibilities different options different ways of thinking and being. So it’s like you just gotta find a way that they go in to themselves and identify what the negatives are that they keep dwelling on.

And even I think it’s a really good exercise to get people to voice them and then get them by themselves to say what what are the positives that you have been ignoring of. Recently I found, speaking to a group of teenage kids, boys and girls, just so I can discover what’s going on for them and this group is specifically senior HSC kids.

What’s gone on for them now during this difficult time when all the challenges with restrictions that have come about and gee and I feel very compassionate for them and I really understand the world but did I really come face to face with all the negatives and so right at the end after receiving all the negatives about what’s going on part of the exercise was okay.

So now with those negatives what I didn’t ask him what the positives were. I said to them what negatives have you been ignoring. Because that’s the thing. It’s one way to be negative and then find positives. The problem is when you’re negative and deliberately ignore the positives that deliberate ignoring becomes automatic. So they may not know that at all. I’ve been deliberately ignoring it. Well you’ve been ignoring it.

So now let’s not ignore it. Let that become automatic. To see the positives was that’s the pattern that we wanted to break. Sam what I love that I love that because the thing is people do get into that behavioral thing I’m just doing the thing that they’re always doing and not really being cognizant of the fact that that’s just the pattern that they’re running all the time. So being aware of those things that’s just that’s beautiful. I love that. Good.

Looks like our listeners I hope they love that too. I think we were moving nice and smoothly using simple language in an example at least for each cognitive distortion. I hope that this becomes really educational for or even for people who have already heard and learned or understand cognitive distortions. It’s actually a nice refresher to go through them again and to remind ourselves even if we feel we’re doing okay to remind ourselves that they’re they hit it in the background waiting to pounce sometimes.

So. Well exactly. Exactly. And I you know I’m one of the things that people don’t realize is a cognitive distortion is labeling is going. You know they’re stupid or I’m stupid or something like that which actually just leaves you in a very very dull place doesn’t give you any way of sort of seeing the depth and the breadth of things it sort of means that you’re seeing a very small thing instead of actually seeing the larger picture and being more involved in you know it’s interesting that people do go through this thing of labeling everything because they feel that it makes life more simple and in a way.

It does. But it’s not a good way. You know life is meant to be rich. And to actually see things with more than just one viewpoint you see things for all of the value that it has. Yes there’ll be some negative and some positive but find all of those things. I find the real depth. It becomes really dangerous to find yourself labeling yourself because the truth is label your behavior. Label your pattern.

I’m in the early childhood industry and we’re not allowed to label the children. We can say what you did was a silly thing. You can label that behavior but we can’t say you’re silly for doing that and rightly so. Because once you start labeling a child and I said I wanted him to see that through the filter of that label and we’re talking about that you know the mental filters there’s a way that cognitive distortions really really work to harm someone.

I’m not so not giving somebody a filter where they look at themselves through a label is really important in breaking that down if they do start to have that label and being able to break that down so they stop doing that and start labeling behavior. As you said not the person and being able to remove that filter completely and to change it becomes really important.

Like in the early childhood industry if you’ve got you separate the kids and you’ve got like zero tattoos and you’ve got two to three years and three to fives and the two threes are the limit. They call them the terrible twos and I say that with a beautiful smile and lots of love. I love that age group but gee it’s challenging. And that’s because they haven’t learned their language to express themselves very well.

But so there’s a lot of fights that we sometimes have to break up and it’s all about sharing. And so really we can’t say something to a child who’s hurt and another child because they can bite or petrol hit or throw. Anything can happen in that little room. So intervention is really important but strategic intervention is really important so that the kids don’t feel that they need the intervention we use strategy so that we can distract or redirect that way the smooth flow.

But if someone hits another we can’t say you should not say because of you he’s crying but we can say because of what happened. Now he’s crying so whilst they can’t communicate back to us they can communicate by listening. So we have to use very important language. Now these children are at home now we’ve learnt label behavior and do not label children.

But who’s taught the rest of the world that one little tip. It’s not common knowledge if it’s done that accidentally or without harm. And your parents can say oh you’re an idiot or your see or you caused that. You made Mom sad now. Exactly. One thing. Yeah. If there’s one thing I’d love people would take away from this podcast it’s that what you just said.

This is something that is so fundamentally important for everybody to learn about labelling that it actually doesn’t do anything except cause long term issues. The thing is if you use it and people rise to the expectations that you give them so if you give somebody that all you I’m so proud of you doing so well. Thank you so much for doing that.

Then people tend to rise to that they’ll start to have those behaviors but when you start using labelling and labeling language that actually pushes someone down that makes them believe that their behavior is who they are then you’re gonna get a reputation of that behavior over and over again because wash they dry out. Well I didn’t find that reputation as well. That’s right. So whatever you create is what they live up to.

If you keep telling that girl … you’re a bully they’ll be a bully because they it’s like it’s the label on a bully I’m allowed to act like this I’m fitting my description. For example. Exactly. It’s it’s. And this is one of the things that I hope people hear that the language that we use. This is why you know the A.P. neuro linguistic programming. If your saying something that will have an impact and the way that you say it will have an impact in the way you pace it will have an impact.

So being able to lead a child into a new way of being. By giving them the way to aspire rather than the way to behave within a certain label is going to completely change the dynamics of the family of their relationships everything. It’s just so important. So. I’m glad we touched on that. You know I think that was a really really good discussion that we had on it and put some good points there.

So. So I was going to mentioning sorry. Lose the labeling. Yes what is the labeling. Just stop it. If I was getting any kind of just stop it. It’s just it’s not it’s not going to be beneficial for anybody. So let’s hang onto that I’ll go to magnification and minimization.

So we often call that catastrophe rising so people will you know start to have thoughts where everything’s a catastrophe. So blowing them out of proportion rather than sort of leading up to what there is that they could do. They’ll say Oh I couldn’t possibly go there because it will be a disaster or something will go wrong. And they’re actually creating this thought process that they won’t even approach something because they believe it’s going to be horrendous.

So it’s kind of a we also call it an avoidance methodology so people blow things out of proportion and then they want to avoid it or they’ll minimize something which is the other part of the you know unhelpful thinking or cognitive distortion which is you know they’ll actually make it seem less important than it really is. So all you didn’t do that report but it wasn’t that important when maybe it actually is.

So both those can actually work against you being able to look at things and give them the right weight and proportion that’s attributable to them. So I don’t go to the you know the complete work catastrophization and don’t go to the minimization, look at things and be able to have that. Okay. I can see that this has got a certain level of importance and I need to address it in that way.

Yes that that’s the thing to just strategically planned your way out of the catastrophe or the magnification because to magnify is to make it huge in your mind and therefore what follows that is a huge overwhelm of emotion where really is just one normal situation that happened of seeing that happen. I remember once my husband dropped the ice cube tray and so all the ice just went all over the floor.

It’s just ice isn’t it. Yes that’s right. And I was I wasn’t really close by and I saw him just go into a phrase and he was just staring at it so I thought and it was truly just seconds and once I saw him go into then I thought Wow. So I just quickly got a tea towel and just scooped it right up because I’ve got two dogs who were going to go chew it up as well. So I thought I didn’t want them to have a brain freeze.

So I quickly just scooped it up with a towel and he was still just standing there. It was just ice Yeah it’s interesting. You know the thing is that there’s the fight flight freeze and you know in the moment it’s something that so in a way trivial can thank somebody just freeze because they’re like What do I do next. Because they haven’t you know expected it to happen.

But yeah I find it interesting when I actually see people going through processes where they’re not in an agile state of mind when something happens and often it I think it is because they’ve gone through creating it. You know that it’s a massive thing when actually it’s not. And so they’ll over do their response to it. And as you said overwhelmed because really what happens is when people do catastrophes things they do go into that fight flight or freeze.

And it’s a catastrophization so you actually don’t get to do anything. And the best way to avoid a catastrophe is to do something positive to avoid the catastrophe. Yes. Yes that’s exactly right. Yes. But if plan to make you do something different. Yeah. Is it an amazing if you catch someone out doing a catastrophe you think you can ask them what what were you just doing. And if it’s in the right moment they can say oh I saw this on the news.

Then all of a sudden for oh my son’s driving too. And what if that happens to him. And then this. And then we can’t get to that part of Taiwan they create this catastrophe because they just saw something for the second year of the news. So that then came with the not go ahead. It’s really gone great. Or just content that can really leading to practicing that way of thinking using the metrics.

Great to have an imagination but not going to create mental movies of catastrophes all the time. We’ll see this is one of the things you know we’re living in a world where we’ve got so much multimedia we’ve got so much social media. And the thing is that you know things do can get blown out of proportion. You know there’ll be something that happened on another side of the planet. It’s nowhere near us yet. People will be reacting as if it’s a current and present threat right here.

And that’s that’s not a good thing for your body or your mind or anything having all of those cortisol going through your body because you’re allowing yourself to go into that overwhelming stress. It’s really important. To assess your situation right now in the moment. I’m not Why me. You know wherever it is it could be but it actually could be. It could be in New York. We’re sitting here in Sydney or Melbourne or whatever on the other side of the planet.

So what’s happening over there. It may be horrible but we don’t have to allow ourselves to go into that. That could be happening here. We need to look at our situation assess it appropriately that look at our feelings of feeling worried or fearful. It’s not it’s not appropriate to the situation allow yourself not to go to that overwhelm of something that’s not happening to you. That’s right.

So you often yeah you’ll often say that people will start to really get into a bit of a state about how they feel when they’re nowhere near any kind of danger. It’s good to go through the price of if that happened he what would I do. And have a plan for the fires that we had in New South Wales and the whole actually the whole of Australia where people were actually potentially Nero a fire front at some point and people could start making plans and start to help others.

And being in action is really important because you do not want to go into freeze when you need to go into action. So being able to work with and communicate with others to create a plan having a plan action in a plan that’s the way to deal with things and not going to overwhelm if I’d say one thing to people.

Get into action don’t just were the wheels of your mind going over and over and ruminating on it I tried plans to give up that emotional frame sometimes can lead to some creative imagination which has the power I want to create physiological symptoms absolutely increased heart rate and feelings in the stomach and headaches and sweaty palms.

And then if I have treated so many people who have got IBS did they have bowel irritable bowel syndrome. And when we come down to it anxiety over thinking you know overwhelm all of those things when we’ve addressed those those issues the symptoms of the obvious dissolve these people who know because often you had a lot of that resides in the gut health you know your actual gut has as many neurons in it as a cat’s brain.

So when you’re doing over thinking and doing all these things and having cortisol is running through you and sitting in overwhelm your guts going to be affected. So when somebody says to me you know they’ve got IBS all usually find out that they do have anxiety and all of these you know high morbidity is way sort of go okay. You know can take those off. Let’s address the anxiety and always underlying issues and then. There obvious is kind of like not worrying me at the moment.

Great. Let’s stay with that. Let’s improve your processes so that you’re in this state where it’s not affecting you because those other things are being put into perspective and when people learn how to not do those things and they start to have better God help then they start to get in that zone where they just don’t do that over overthinking anxiety overwhelm and everything anymore. In this healthy zone which I adore I love it when people have that process.

So you know it really is about this way that they think this unhelpful thinking this cognitive distortions all all of those things that come into it that give you that ill health you know you don’t have anxiety unless you’re over thinking it’s kind of comorbid Yeah. Good point there. And very nice example of your IBS clients as well.

It’s a good success story a nice way to plan out and to make soft discoveries and ways to see that these reasons this causes whether you know you don’t know treating anxiety and treating your your thought processes can be extremely helpful. So absolutely. Absolutely. So we’ve still got a couple to go. We’ve got enough time today. Well that’s up to you.

Carrie I guess we can do a couple more or we can a couple more on the next one whatever you like but I’d like to just mention jumping to conclusions. Well then let’s go. Let’s jump to that conclusion shall we. So. So here’s the thing. People tend to mind read although fortune tellers so they’re coming up with imagining what somebody else is thinking which might not be true or they’re predicting the future.

And how do they determine they can predict the future. How do they determine that they know what somebody is thinking. And often the cases they don’t. In fact we don’t. So you know it’s interesting that you know when you’re jumping to all of these conclusions you actually may be losing the reality completely because you’re going oh I think it’s this before it is these.

So you know I suppose an example of it is you know when somebody is going oh you know I don’t think they like me and you know. I mentioned that you know they think that on this or on that and then they get an opportunity at some point to actually speak to that person and that person really wanted to be their friend. You know I actually had a client who had a co-worker that they were working with they thought that person did not like them.

And you know they had different speaking style and sense of humor and things like that. But essentially when it all came down to it it was just a case of they hadn’t had much of an opportunity for interaction. And when they did they found the commonalities and you know that woman was like Ha I actually thought you didn’t like me just like. I thought you didn’t like me. The. Was never the case neither person fortune told or imagined what the other person was thinking correctly.

And now they’re very close friends. You know so there’s you know what we what we think isn’t necessarily the fact. That’s right. And that that’s a nice happy ending there. I must say that I’ve I really take seriously this cognitive distortion because I find that it can create a lot of trouble in one’s life and most importantly can create a lot of trouble within family life and in relationships.

And so when when I notice that so truly when someone is really heavily into this frame I get permission of them. To interrupt them and I without offending them when they’re in my clinic. I’d like to sell them. I hope you don’t mind. But this is my job right now. I’m going to challenge you and I’ve always said everyone said gain. That’s fine I realize that. So when they say or he does this excuse me or.

Or she should be doing this I stop said or how did you know that. What makes you believe that or with the evidence for that. So they kind of until this story because I’m just firing firing foreign and interrupting that pattern because jumping to conclusions is not going to get them anyway and I don’t want them to feel that they can get away with saying that in therapy when if I break that down in the end and which is in five minutes they say oh okay so maybe I’ve been jumping to conclusions so that way I never had to say look you’re jumping to conclusions because in their mind they don’t want to hear an accusation like that.

But once we’ve played that game then they say Okay I get it. I have no evidence for that and I’m just assuming and this one thing we should never do is assume we’re winning on this and I don’t play the assumption game not at loud anyway because it’s just awful. I actually said to my husband when we first started dating I said please please always ask me because I’ll give you an honest answer about things don’t.

Don’t assume anything because you know. Sometimes I’m thinking things that you won’t have any clue unless I tell you. And I always find it really interesting when people say to me things like oh he should know it’s like did you tell him. No but he should know it’s like you know how. Exactly. You know what.

Well he should know he should know me by now it’s like we all which always change and people really really appreciate you just having an open conversation with him. If you really want something say …for my birthday I really like this don’t he attached it because people are always good at hints. So if you really want to communicate communicate use your words get to the point. So yeah.

Yeah. Now you go. Did I say I just think people have a much better time on things and a better relationship when they just openly communicate and don’t expect the other person to you know Fortune tell or mind read. You know I’m not a mind reader. I’ve always said you want to tell me something. Go for it. I can’t migrate. That’s really important. And that’s why we play that game in cleaning. Yes we shoot it down.

We might do that in their lives out there but when they come into the clinic and we shoot that down with their permission and so that they know that we’re deliberately doing that it really stops them from spending the next 20 30 minutes trying to convince you that they know your reason maybe it’ll stop them from the next 20 or 30 years expecting people to migrate them and being disappointed all the time. So then we say right what we did he how can you do this by yourself and we get them to give their own examples of okay.

So quite often I’m assuming that if he or she doesn’t answer the phone that means that this and that’s happening and instead I could be back within five minutes and that that’s happening and you see how that leads to other cognitive distortions in themselves. Absolutely. Catastrophization. Exactly. That’s right. And in the emotional frame. And yet some of the we. So once we identify that the whole problem is how you’re feeling about it.

You’ve created this in your own head. Just stop it. So when you see that you’re doing that. Stop it. So you get them to practice and that can be part of their tasking sexual reminders put notes down that you can’t allow yourself to continue jumping to conclusions and get them into that language and we’re jumping to a conclusion. People have bitterly create language for themselves as reminders of what do I need to do.

What do I need to do what I did I my mum on and all of that stuff said of themselves if this is a problem for them. And we’re jumping to conclusions. Am I trying to do fortune telling. So stop that pattern and you’ll eliminate a lot of problems. Absolutely. And sometimes we need to create a bit of an income so that they can say oh hold on a second and take a step back.

So if they catch themselves using the word should should should should or you know they should you know the whole you know mind reading thing if they start to do certain things using certain words then that can be the anchor to go Oh. I really need to think about this a bit better. I need it I need to get a bit of distance from that and really work out see if there’s any evidence of that working their way through processes rather than just jumping to those conclusions.

So it’s interesting we can tell stories but then being able to recognize it and tell their own story about where they do it so that they can find the place where they do not do it and they stop doing it. That’s really important as well. Yeah. That’s right. So it’s really important that people or especially for our listeners to see what kind of self-improvement we can all make for ourselves. We didn’t have to worry about said self improvement for anybody else.

They are responsible for themselves but within ourselves. If we find that we’re falling into certain patterns of which lead to certain behaviors stop stepped back and said Right fallen into that trap somehow it’s okay. I just to continue to do that. But if you’re really finding that you’re doing that and it’s an actual problem and we know it’s a problem when it’s really disrupting your daily life and it’s disrupting your routine your sleep your appetite your work your relationships then it really is time to go to a therapist who’s skilled in this area to say write my thoughts this is what’s happening for me.

And therefore the right therapist the skilled therapist can then identify with the cognitive distortions off and then work with that and hypnotherapy is a great tool for these learning to learn and unlearning to learn and really to unlearn absolutely all of that learning to learn and learning to unlearn. Because the thing is the patterns that we feel that we learnt in the past we can also unlearn. And people don’t realize that.

I think that they’ve done this all the time so they’re always going to know it’s okay. Those patterns can change. And given the right you know process and given and during your homework they will change. They not only had change they will change. Some people think they can’t change and that they’ve always been like this. And then you know how we tackled that and we come back to the. Well we get them to let us know that okay. Yes I wasn’t always like this.

And when we take them back to through discussion we you like this at 5:00 or. And how will you when you attend then how will you at 15 and then how will you at 20 and 25 etc. And then they show you that. Oh yeah it was different. So why do you think you’ll be the same in five years. You change in eight years you change your plan. You change every week. So.

Well I like to remind people that I like to remind people that you know from a molecular perspective our body absolutely changes every cell in our body except for the enamel of their teeth. Every cell in our body is changed in seven. So that’s thing an uptake change only the animal level of our teeth remain the same. We better look after that thing. That’s right. That’s very important.

But the thing is that when when your body can change that much you know we’re shedding skin cells we’re growing here and we’re doing all these things our brain is learning new ways of doing things all the time. I’ve never started a few years ago somebody said to somebody. All you have to remember a PIN number to put in your phone so that you know you can do the things that you need to do. People go you’ve got to be crazy. So younger people now. They’re going to be doing things that they have never even imagined in the next few years.

There are going to be jobs that never existed a year ago are going to be commonplace. All of these different things are going to happen. If anything is going to happen it’s going to be change. So what are the most important things to understand is that we change constantly the way that we think can change the way that we behave can change the way that we do things can change all of these things are up for change. If you have a style what we call a fixed attribution style that nothing will change it won’t change the realities that can change to that fixed attribution style can also change.

And it comes down to having. Thought you know the thought patterns that will work for you and serve you in not doing the ones that are unhelpful to you. So it’s really interesting that we talk about the 10 you know cognitive distortions which you know there’s varying degrees of them through everybody. But at the end of the day when you know how to work your way through these when you get to become agile when you’ve had a coach or a therapist who says to you Hey you don’t have to be like this you can be like this and you have that opening of all possibility.

You gonna have to have it fixed retributions … you can actually have change and not only is it something that is helpful to you but you can actually learn how to welcome it and to receive it and to become that new change. It’s a really powerful and positive thing and you do it with one little thing. I mean you can do it with something else you do it with something else and eventually change becomes really not only possible but probable. You know you will have positive outcomes and changes embracing change.

For me I find that extremely healthy. And I came to learn very early in the piece back in my early days have been in the childhood industry when it was time at the end of the year to say to stuff OK. Next year you’re going to move from the baby’s room and you’ll be in the preschool room or you’ll move you from the preschool room you’re going to go to the toddler room and I really got to see some of the staff saying. What I’m part of the preschool the preschool is going to leave anyway and go to big schools.

It’s not like they’re going to miss the kids we’re all going to miss the kids because they’re going to be in school or that I always like to move one person up from the baby’s room to go into the two to three foot room. So at least this consistency of care. So when the babies turn 2 and they got to the new they’ve got a consistent face a carer. And yet the staff some of the staff members were like Oh I can’t leave my room. They began to own this room.

And so that that I have whilst I appreciate that I thought there’s a fee of change but there’s reasons why I move staff around from room to room. One has to move up with the kids to keep them consistent. And parents like to see staff members far and others actually need a change I can get them out of the room just for something different. So the strategy I would use is Oh OK. So you’d want to stay in your room. Well how about this.

Just go into the new room for three weeks when we change. And then you know what. And that’s just to help your kids settle into the new room and then only a few back then that gave them that sense of security that Oh okay I’ll go back into my room I’m just going there temporarily Kerry. There was never one staff member that went back all they needed was time to adjust and to embrace the change in that transitional time.

And you know it’s it’s interesting that you know when I look at people who are seeking assistance it’s often during times of transition or fear of transition. So something’s happened and they need to change or they want to change and they don’t yet know how to change or they don’t think it’s possible to change and you know where they lost last option but you know when they start to see that not only can major transition but it’s going to happen anyway with them or without them and they can learn how to go with it and they can learn that new process it gives them that sense of safety and ability to go.

Okay. So I can go from here to here and I can do it with you know a process that isn’t going to be painful it might actually be enjoyable. You know it’s funny when. I’m going to say that hypnotherapy again. Oh my goodness. The change that occurs within their own resourceful state where they get to visualize and embrace that change and do it all by themselves.

They actually come out of that excited for change and that to to to watch that happen and to know that the evidence is there because of the way they spoke before this session and the way they’re speaking straight after this session and you see gee how effective and well done to them for doing the best job that they can during hypnosis. Really really great avenue.

I love that you know it’s actually one of my favorite things about what I do is that people do come in in a certain way or a certain mindset and then you know we work with them and then we do the trance work and they do come out of it going. I can do that because they’ve had a bit of apply a bit of a practice in that trance state just allowing themselves to to do that.

And so there is that possibility and they do see that way of doing things. I do see that new way because they’ve practiced it in their head when we’ve given them that opportunity just. Go with it just play with it be there in that space. Like transit. How about work with it. That’s right. That’s good. How about when one of the other distortions could leave solutions overgeneralization are you.

You Anyway. May get dumped I always fail. No I’ve never been good enough or it’s just like you generalize everything and we’ve been taught we’ve got to say what never. Haven’t you ever met him once. I mean we see it amongst friends.

It’s just common language that we used until it becomes a problem space and it’s it’s actually not a good way to to be speaking to yourself or to others about yourself because we’ve always got the opportunity say except when exactly except it was actually one of the best things when we were during our training was that it was like it was something that might get attention is it except when you don’t accept when you do.

And you said oh yeah except for when I don’t I except for what I do and the reality is it just makes you realize that all of these other generalizations they’re just words that we’re using without thinking properly without allowing ourselves to know in reality that our unconscious mind is believes listening and believing. That’s right. Yes.

So when we say I’m always I’m always being yelled at and I’m always even somewhat to say Oh I’m always drinking except no athlete. Exactly. And the thing is that when you’re doing that that very those very words that you’re using that have the over generalizations again as you said the the subconscious is listening and it’s looking for evidence. So it’s kind of find the evidence that supports that statement.

So finding and when I don’t you know except when you do on the set when I don’t know they’re very key in getting a change. Yeah. Or to you know you could say this or you’re always sleeping more except when you’re not. So really catch yourself out and find the exceptions to everything. Absolutely. He could say I’m always getting in fights. We can’t let him get away with that. We have to set them.

Did you get into a fight today and if they say yes. Did you fight all day. Did you fight at recess did you fight at lunch. Did you fight in class as well. So you’re not fighting all day. Not always going to fights. Did you have friendly conversations. Yes. OK. So that was in a fight so we’ve really got to work on our language to make him say yeah OK. I don’t always get into fights but you know what I mean. No you don’t always get into fights. Sometimes you get into fights. We really need to correct that break that pattern. Again.

That that leads into the other you know distortion which is labeling. It’s like when you do that over generalizing you go falling into the trap of the labelling because your mind your subconscious mind starts to let people know you even if nobody else is. So that’s really what in the way that you’re describing that is perfect and it blends into that mental filter. Looking at the sort absolutely the positives so we covered everything that we look at.

I think we had all personalization. We blame yourself or take responsibility for things. You know I like to call it I have responsibility where you know somebody is always looking to take on you know something that’s completely out of there. Not only not only get out of their responsibility but it’s also out of their ability to do anything about it. So they’re taking on too much.

They think it’s all their fault or they think that you know it’s all somebody else’s fault perhaps something is going on away you know a certain way that you know being able to say hey you know not everything’s your responsibility not everything somebody else’s responsibility. There’s a whole lot of different layers here. And you know how do you determine that you’re always at fault or they’re always at fault. So. Oh OK. Maybe there’s some things that we need to challenge here as well.

Yeah I see that blame often leads to feelings of guilt or inadequacy and what it brings up a lot of emotional disturbance and at a personal level I don’t like the blame game at all. I don’t even believe it’s anybody’s fault. Things happen with whether they happen correctly or not correctly or ethically or not. I’d like to get rid of that blame but there is one really nice session that I want to do with my clients and I’ve called it the emotional detox session.

So even a therapy session where we work a lot on any self blame past or current or blaming others or blaming soften giving them an opportunity to really start because it’s just not a nice thing to live with. And I don’t think it’s anything friendly about the blame game. I think it’s quite detrimental to one’s mental emotional wellness. So I agree. Yeah. I like that emotional detox.

Yeah I run emotional detox sessions so and I find them extremely empowering and it’s like it’s a nice beginning for individuals who come in for that change. So I think I think it’s really important to sort of people to acknowledge that certain things have happened so that that sounds like an acknowledgment process where they can then start to see what’s what they’re doing and have been doing so I can start saying well don’t do that anymore.

I want to change that That’s beautiful It’s a segue wise beautifully into the. Yeah. Now is the time for change. Yeah. And I’d really like to respect emotions and I really have to deliver the message that emotions are there as messages and I believe that we’re there to protect you in the first place. How whether they don’t need to live inside of you any longer.

Beyond the point that you’re willing to let them go if you feel you’ve been housing these emotions way too long and you’re willing and ready right now to let them go then we do this right now. In a way and I use imagination and I give stories of examples of ways other people have done them and the truth is people. May think about auto know forgiveness and letting go of things and say they’re not ready to they’re not ready to until they are.

And that process takes one second to let go that motion to make that forgiveness. Yes one second. You may want to dwell on it for three months or three years but do you want to make that change right now. You can forgive right now. If you allow yourself in if that’s where you want to go it’s just getting permission and the permission is so important because sometimes people think that they have to hold onto something not realizing that holding onto it is actually quite toxic to them.

It’s like you know it’s it’s it’s a situation where we say sometimes it’s like drinking poison and expecting the other person to get sick. You know you actually have to let go of that so that you can both be well and move forward. You don’t always have to have that person around but you can certainly not hurt yourself and hold on things that hold you back or that cause pain or discomfort or even you know it could be obvious because you holding onto something that you really.

Don’t need to it’s a case of. Now it’s time to relax and release that toxicity and get on with other things that are going to be more enjoyable and pleasurable because you don’t have that Kerry. I think we’ve not only gone way over the time that we expected but she did work have us some beautiful content. I’m actually so glad that we had the opportunity to discuss amongst ourselves as professionals or experts as we are.

But the opportunities that we’ve given our listeners to learn or to reconfirm or to be curious or for whatever we’ve done or hope we’ve done well enough for all of our listeners. So really thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to discuss this in the detail that we did with our examples as well. Thank you so much. My pleasure.

And I just want to say to the listeners out there if you have any of these things that are perhaps a cognitive distortion or unhelpful thinking style of your own it’s time to go up get the therapist get the coaching so that you know how to release it how to change it and the best time to start is really now. So give yourself that time to go. Okay. I don’t have to be stuck. You don’t have to suffer.

What’s my next step and make the next step which is to get in contact with somebody who will be there for you. He’s wanting to help you and to give you the new different start and not be stuck anymore that you deserve. Well said Kerry. So we’ve been listening to Kerry Bailey from Sydney Hypno. And Amanda Dounis from Positive Thinking Clinic. See you next time. Bye. Thanks Amanda. I love it. 


Well hello and a warm welcome to today’s listeners. Allow me to introduce myself as the host of Today’s episode. My name is Amanda Dounis. I am the founder of the positive thinking clinic located in Wolli Creek Sydney. 

Here are the positive thinking clinic, I see clients of all ages. I see individuals couples families and small groups. I conduct psychotherapy and I use a variety of modalities delivered through counselling techniques and hypnotherapy. 

I’m a professional counsellor, clinical hypnotherapist, strategic psychotherapist, early childhood teacher, and MLP master practitioner. 

To learn more about what I do and what I offer, visit my website on www.positivethinkingclinic.com.au. The easiest way to connect with me on social media is to search my name Amanda Dounis or my clinic name Positive thinking clinic. 

You may also access my social media at the bottom of my website. I’m the author of my coping skills handbook aimed at kids aged 8 through to 14 years of age and I’ve also turned this into an online course. 

I have a range of podcasts that can be found on Amandadounis.podbean.com 

In addition to the Positive Thinking Clinic, I am the owner of four early learning centers. I’m passionate about quality care and emotional wellness of all ages. I believe we set the foundation for emotional wellness from a very young age. My early learning centers are licensed as Positive Living Skills services. 

I also have an emotional wellness & kids group on Facebook. One of my greatest hobbies is that I think I’m always involved in a variety of courses no matter how small. I enjoy adding to my skill set as an integrated therapist. 

I learn diverse skills and I select the best fit for any situation. If you wonder if I have any other hobbies I’m also into fitness. I’ve run a number of marathons including two ultra marathons. So that’s me in a nutshell. 

If you wanted to get in touch you can use the contact form on my website.


I would love to hear from you signing out and moving forward. 

You’re listening to Amanda Dounis.

Today we welcome Kerry.

Kerry is from Sydneyhypno.com.au. Kerry’s clinic is located in the inner west of Sydney in Marrickville. She conducts face to face and video based therapy sessions and coaching. She is a senior therapist coach and trainer. She is a clinical hypnotherapist strategic psychotherapist an NLP coach and trainer: very skilled.

You can engage with Kerry on her social media Facebook and LinkedIn. She’s very responsive. Kerry has conducted compassionate fatigue workshops, family dynamics, workplace and team dynamics, and other various workshops. 

She’s very passionate Kerry is passionate for the care of animals and people and has been from an early age.

She says I have had parents who modelled care and compassion for all. So I will always focus on what is the best outcome for all. Just like my parents she says I  should do this… as she goes through life. Her motto is to live a life of integrity. Kerry has a background in A.P. going back over 30 years and she has worked in small business and in corporate for over 20 years.

She has been involved in a variety of different activities, and sporting events over the years. She’s got quite a résumé. She’s passionate for animal welfare. She has volunteered for over 35 years. Amazing.

Kerry says I love my family and my friends and I feel blessed to be a part of such wonderful people and working in the field that I love. Kerry studied at IAP the Institute of Applied Psychology. From there she entered into the arena of human welfare.

After having for so many years worked in animal welfare and she wanted to help her colleagues cope with pressures and frustrations that they face. 

Kerry says I have found so much more now being able to help so many people in so many other walks of life. Amazing. Kerry has recently joined the faculty of her college I.A.P So that she can help others to follow the path that she loves so much. She says she sees her future as a continuance of the work that she does right now and that future is open to so many possibilities. 

KERRY Absolutely loves what she does, if you want to get in contact with her, visit her Web site. There are so many ways to connect with Kerry.


Amanda Dounis

Positive Thinking Clinic

1/7 Magdalene Terrace

Wolli Creek, 2205

0458 850 850



It is important to know that resources are available if you are experiencing anxiety , and exploring other websites, such as mindaustralia, and headspace.  

I welcome you to visit my podcast to learn about anxiety basics.

In any emergency you can always reach out to lifeline.

Help is also available for kids, and support for families too.

You may find my Coping Skills Handbook a great resource.  It teaches kids how to cope with everyday challenges using a simple C.O.P.E. formula.

You can find out more about me on natural therapy pages or psychology today

I am a level 3 member of the Australian Counselling Association and am a member of the Hypnotherapy Council of Australia

Here is a short clip on FAQ at Positive Thinking Clinic https://youtu.be/GNWaRVsC-OU

Ways that Positive Thinking Clinic can help you https://youtu.be/m0z-f0PSQNM

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