Here's another free practice question from the retired SWTP bonus exam. How well do you know your cognitive distortions?
A client who is receiving cognitive behavioral therapy worries that because he turned in a work report a day late, his bosses are angry at him and he will never be promoted. Which of the following cognitive distortions is the client using?
A. Mental filtering
What do you think?
Let's look at some definitions.
Mental filtering occurs when a client focuses exclusively on the negative aspects of a situation, excluding the positive. ("Sure, I won the election, but only by 51%.")
With personalization, people take the blame for something over which they have no control. This client is exaggerating the likely negative repercussions for something he did have control over (completing the report).
Labeling occurs when a client slaps negative labels on himself or on another person or object. The client in this scenario is not labeling anything.
The client has taken a minor problem (turning in work a day late) and imagining a worst-case result (being disliked and never promoted), a good example of catastrophizing.
You have your answer. And now you're that much more ready to go pass the social work licensing exam.
But maybe not all the way ready. For that, try our full-length, real-time ASWB exam practice tests.
For more about cognitive distortions, check out this list from Psych Central.
Happy studying and good luck on the exam!