Overgeneralising is what we do when we come to a ‘global’ conclusion about something from one or a small number of events and can often be characterised by the language that goes with this problem.
If you find yourself using words such as ‘always‘, ‘never‘ or ‘typical‘ then you are probably overgeneralising!
Many clients come into the clinic and tell me ‘I’m afraid of everything’ when I ask them to describe their problem.
Surely a person can’t really be afraid of everything and on further questioning it turns out that what they really mean is that they are afraid of ‘failure’ or some such other very specific thing.
Overgeneralising overstates reality and leads to a loss of perspective, the ability to make an objective evaluation of events or situations.
Examples of Overgeneralising
See if you recognise any of these thinking errors:
You’ve got up a bit late this morning and are slightly anxious about getting into work on time. You put your key in the ignition and your car won’t start. You immediately think to yourself ‘things like this are ALWAYS happening to me, it’s so typical!’
You have a tendency to self-blame and shout at your child for asking you a question whilst you’re trying to watch your favourite TV programme. You quickly decide that you are a terrible parent for losing your temper.
In reality, very few situations are so clear-cut or extreme that we can extract general truths out of them abut the world or ourselves so when you do find yourself overgeneralising try the following things out:
Get Some Perspective
How true is it that things never go your way? How many times has your car ACTUALLY broken down in the past year? You’ll probably find that in truth, life goes pretty well for you and your car is pretty damn reliable. It’s easy to lose perspective and when you do, it can easily lead to unwarranted negative emotions.
Does losing your temper with your child make everything about your parenting ‘terrible’ or are you actually a pretty good parent? Surely this one-off incident does not cancel out all of the great things you do for you child. Whilst your child may get upset about your loss of temper, it’s hardly likely to damage that child irrepairably.
Shouting at your child no more makes you a terrible parent than having your car let you down once mean you are always experiencing mechanical failings that ruin your life. So try to be more specific, regain perspective and try to avoid creating ‘global’ conclusions about one-off events.
Transform Your Thinking & Stop Overgeneralising
If you’re committed to overcoming your Overgeneralising 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 Overgeneralising 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 Overgeneralising
Although our preferred form of mental health counselling for Overgeneralising issues 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 Overgeneralising
We offer all prospective clients an initial consultation to discuss your Overgeneralising 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.
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.