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Fact or Opinion?

Ask yourself: is this thought a fact or opinion?

We can work with facts, but opinions drive emotion - come back to the facts!

Effective CBT strategy to deal with negative thoughts.



  • Evidence to support its truth
  • Undisputed
  • Driven by rational thought
  • Head


  • Personal view
  • Arguable
  • Driven and reinforced by emotion
  • Heart

At stressful times, we tend to be driven by our emotions and opinions, which create a vicious cycle by fuelling each other.  Our emotions strengthen our opinions, which in turn, intensify our emotions.


This leads to impulsive acts and unhelpful longer term consequences, which helps to maintain the overall problem.

Facts are what we need to focus on in order to make helpful changes.  Reacting to our opinions is pointless and upsetting.  Asking "is this Fact or Opinion?" helps us to pull back from our distress and defuse from the unhelpful thinking.

It is often meanings or opinions that we attach to facts that cause us the distress, rather than the fact itself. 

Imagine reading a newspaper that is different to your usual one.  You might look at the headlines and wonder whether they might be biased in some way.  It may be he journalist or editor's opinion rather than just the facts. So we might ask ourselves whether this headline is "fact or opinion".  We can do the same with our thoughts.

If we identify our thought is an opinion, then we can look at the facts - what we KNOW about the situation.  Then we can make choices about what we can or cannot do.

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About Automatic Thoughts

ABCDE:  Responding to Thoughts

Wise Mind

The Mind Bully

The Poisonous Parrot

Unhelpful Thinking Habits

Notice the Positives

Different Perspectives

The Helicopter View


Thought Challenging

The Court Case



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