Catastrophic thinking (the act of catastrophising) is what we do when we take a relatively minor experience and imagine it as some sort of major disaster with all of the terrible consequences that are associated with it.
A person prone to catastrophising is fairly easy to ‘spot’ as they will normally use highly catastrophic language patterns to describe benign happenings.
I’m going to be ten minutes late for work today.
Oh my God it’s the end of the World! My boss is sure to fire me for being so rubbish at time keeping.
As you can see, the resulting catastrophic thinking has very little relationship with simply being late for work by ten minutes, which can happen to anybody of course.
Catastrophising turns the most minor social ‘faux-pas’ into a social disaster, a late arrival as a car accident and a small disagreement as a complete rejection and is clearly not helpful as these types of thoughts can only lead to negative emotional outcomes.
Remember that your emotional evaluation of an experience is determined by HOW you think about it, not the event itself!
Managing Catastrophic Thinking
Whenever you find yourself catastrophising about any event, you can try the following techniques to help you re-evaluate the situation:
Gain Some Perspective
Will your boss really not be that sympathetic to you being late for the first time in 14 years?
After all, you always work plenty of extra hours during a normal week so the company is not really at any kind of loss.
Hasn’t everybody been late for work at some point in their lives and suffered no real consequences?
Losing perspective is easy, especially if you have a tendency towards catastrophising about these types of events.
Try to consider the wider range of outcomes rather than the worst case scenario every time!
Consider the Evidence
How many people have ever actually been fired for being 10 minutes late?
How many times have you ACTUALLY been late this year yourself?
Are your concerns based on anything that has actually happened or are you conclusions simply based on you ‘imagining’ you’ll be fired?
Try to make a decent appraisal of the actual evidence both for and against your catastrophic conclusion.
People prone to catastrophising tend to ignore the evidence that contradicts their own evaluations!
The World Is Unlikely To End
Remember, no matter how much of a disaster your catastrophic thinking leads you to believe, the world is almost certainly going to keep turning.
Not only that, but even if you did lose your job, you’ll get another one and who knows where that might lead to.
Transform Your Thinking & Overcome Catastrophic Thinking
If you’re committed to overcoming your Catastrophic Thinking problems then we highly recommend following our Advanced Tranceformental CBT programme with Paul. Tranceformental CBT is available as Online Therapy if required.
The Tranceformental programme is a highly successful & pragmatic mental health counselling course, run over 10 sessions, that will teach you everything you need to know to understand your problem, identify how unhelpful thinking and limiting beliefs might be reinforcing the issue, and then show you how to make any changes to your Catastrophic Thinking or maladaptive safety behaviours that you may have developed as part of your coping strategies.
Our Tranceformental CBT programme is an evidence-based, research supported approach used by mental health practitioners around the World.
Alternative Therapy Options for Catastrophic Thinking
Although our preferred form of mental health counselling for Catastrophic Thinking is Tranceformental CBT we also offer alternative psychotherapies for those who might prefer a different approach.
- Psychodynamic therapy which focuses more on emotional problems and relies on the Therapeutic Relationship to bring about change. Available with Paul.
- General Counselling which is less structured but still provides a safe and non-judgmental environment to discuss issues which is therapeutic in its own right.
- Hypnotherapy is an alternative form of therapy that can be applied to a very wide range of problems and is available with Joan.
Free Initial Consultations for Catastrophic Thinking
We offer all prospective clients an initial consultation to discuss your Catastrophic Thinking prior to commencing any treatment plans.
The consultation is free and lasts around 50 minutes.
During this consultation we will discuss the various options that are available to you and make a considered recommendation based on your individual personal circumstances.
Initial consultations are also available as part of our online therapy service.
At TranceForm Psychology we recognise the importance of the therapeutic relationship in helping people to bring about effective change, so its important to be able to ‘meet’ to discuss our change programmes BEFORE proceeding.
Our policy is to help people make a fully balanced & considered decision about undertaking work with us, including both the financial and personal implications.
Overcome Your Mental Health difficulties with Our Online CBT Programme - From Only £299!
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is clinically proven to be effective for a range of mental health problems and can be carried out in the comfort of your own home.
Structured over TEN, in-depth modules, our advanced CBT course will teach you everything you need to know to change the way you think about and experience your problems without having to spend a fortune.
The course is available with 2, 5 or 10 sessions of clinical support in-clinic or using Zoom.
Click Tranceformental CBT to find out more.
Also available as a self-directed course without any clinical support for just £149.