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  4.  | Confirmation Bias

Confirmation Bias

Confirmation Bias is the name given to the ‘process’ of selecting or distorting information in a way that is consistent with our own internal limiting beliefs or value system and in some respects could also be called ‘wishful thinking’.

Because we tend to seek out information that fits with our beliefs, we will often ignore any information that contradicts what we believe.

confirmation bias is common in anorexic sufferers - slim woman seeing herself as fat

Confirmation Bias Examples

For example, if a person with low self esteem believes that they ‘worthless’ or ‘incompetent’ for example, then having somebody tell them that ‘they are a really lovely person’ does not ‘fit’ with their self-perception.

When this happens confirmation bias kicks-in to help interpret this information in a way that fits with the perceived ‘truth’ about themselves which is that they are not really lovely at all.

In circumstances like this, a ‘logical’ set of steps are followed that help make sense of this apparent disparity:

  1. Firstly, if I know that I am NOT a lovely person then this person does not really mean what they say.
  2. If they don’t mean what they say then they are just saying it to make me ‘feel better’ and therefore don’t care about me.
  3. The reason they don’t care about me is that I am a worthless person.
  4. Now what they’re saying makes more sense because they think I’m worthless which is what I also believe.

As you can see, confirmation bias has actually taken what appears to be a positive statement “you are a really lovely person”, and found a way to distort it to such an extent that it now ‘fits’ in with this model of low self worth.

If you are ever been on the receiving end of this type of interaction, then you’ll know only too well that this person has got hold of the wrong end of the stick completely and has simply not heard what has been said!

Other Forms of Confirmation Bias

In fact, confirmation bias can occur ANY time that situations, information or experiences contradict or indeed fit with what we believe.

Consider a person who believes in Extra Sensory Perception (ESP) for example:

This person is sitting at home thinking about their mother when the phone rings and low and behold, it’s their mother calling!

Form this event they will start to keep track of times when they are thinking about mum and when mum calls – evidence gathering to support the idea of ESP.

They will, however, tend to ignore the following events:

  • Times they were thinking about mum and she didn’t call
  • Times they weren’t thinking mum and she did call

On top of this they are also likely to pay little attention to the fact that they generally speak to their mum about every two weeks and therefore have a regular pattern of ‘thinking about mum’ bi-weekly and so if mum hasn’t called for about two weeks it’s likely to be more in the forefront of their minds in the first place!

Facts Don’t Come Into It!

Confirmation Bias tends to dispense with the facts or with mathematical probability and lends itself much more to ‘magical’ or inexplicable phenomenon that demands some ‘other-worldly’ explanation, all of which results is a distortion of ‘reality’ which is rarely a helpful trait to have.

Because confirmation bias is intimately tied with belief systems, it can be very difficult to objectively identify them when they occur which is why they can become so deeply embedded into a person psyche.

However, processes such as our Tranceformental CBT programme can help you to become aware, and then modify these issues helping you to improve your perspective.

Transform Your Thinking & Overcome Confirmation Bias Problems

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If you’re committed to overcoming your Confirmation Bias 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 Confirmation Bias 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 Confirmation Bias

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Although our preferred form of mental health counselling for Confirmation Bias issues is Tranceformental CBT we also offer alternative psychotherapies for those who might prefer a different approach.

These include:

  • 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 Confirmation Bias

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We offer all prospective clients an initial consultation to discuss your Confirmation Bias problems 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.

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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.

Get in touch with us.

Psychologist Paul Lee in Wombourne Clinic

Contact Paul

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Tel: 07434 776125

paul@tranceformpsychology.com

Hypnotherapist and Psychotherapist Joan Lee in Wombourne Clinic

Contact Joan

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Tel: 07434 776504

joan@tranceformpsychology.com

Contact Binder

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Tel: 07931 517241

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Self Directed CBT Programme Website: Tranceformental.com

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