Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Shepastor Highlights Columnist, Qin Tang’s Article, “10 Unhealthy Thinking Patterns”

Ministers tend to spend a lot of time in their own heads. For a variety of reasons (personal reflection, preparations for preaching and teaching, administrative responsibilities, confidentialities, navigating church relationships etc), we can become victims of thought overload. For the same aforementioned reasons, our vocation easily lends itself to isolation, loneliness and vulnerability to unhealthy thought patterns.

Today, Shepastor highlights Librarian, Writer and Columnist, Qin Tang’s article, “10 Unhealthy Thinking Patterns.” Delving deeper than, “don’t worry, be happy,” Ms. Tang shares insights from recent studies on resilience – something that is definitely needed for the ministry!

Read on and be blessed!

Shepastor Highlights: Qin Tang’s Article, “10 Unhealthy Thinking Patterns”

“In a recent study on resilience, I learned about the following 10 unhealthy thinking patterns or thinking distortions. The research was pioneered by Dr. Aaron Beck, widely regarded as the father of cognitive therapy. It was later popularized by Dr. David Bums in his book The Feeling Good Handbook."

1. Extreme thinking (All-or-nothing thinking) – Thinking in absolute terms, like “always” and “never.”

2. Overgeneralization – Taking isolated cases and using them to make generalizations.

3. Mental filter – Focusing on negative aspects of an event while ignoring the positive.

4. Disqualifying the positive – Continually “shooting down” positive experiences for arbitrary reasons.

5. Jumping to conclusions – Based on little or no evidence, mind-reading (assuming special knowledge of the intentions or thoughts of others), fortune telling (predicting without special knowledge).

6. Magnification and minimization – Distorted thinking that twists facts, exaggerating the positive traits of others and magnifying your own negatives.

7. Emotional reasoning – Decisions based on intuitions or personal feelings rather than on objective facts and evidence.

8. Should statements – Thoughts focused on “should” or “ought to be” rather than reality, having rigid rules that “always apply” no matter what.

9. Labeling and mislabeling – Explaining by naming with “absolute labels (loser, bossy, shy, perfect, cheater, wishy-washy.)

10. Personalization – Assuming responsibility for events over which you have no control, magical thinking.

About the author
Qin Tang

Librarian, writer, columnist.
Qin Tang grew up in China, studied German at universities in China and Germany, and ended up living in the United States since 1991. She says, “Life is a journey and a mystery. I am still on the journey, learning and growing every day.”

To read more, visit

Post a comment or send me an email at

Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris

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