Form 9C

Seemingly Irrelevant Decisions

When making any decision, whether large or small, do the following:

• Consider what options you have.

• Think about the possible outcomes of each option. What positive or negative consequences can you anticipate, and what are the risks of relapse?

• Choose an option that will minimize your relapse risk. If you decide to choose a risky option, plan how to protect yourself while in the high-risk situation.

• Watch for “red flag” thinking: thoughts like “I have to . . .” (do something, go somewhere, see someone) or “I can handle . . .” (a certain high-risk situation) or “It really doesn’t matter whether . . .” (I’ll just have a hit).

Practice Exercise

Think about a decision you made recently or are about to make. The decision could involve any aspect of your life, such as your job, recreational activities, friends, or family. Identify safe choices and choices that might increase your risk of relapsing.

Decision to be made:___________________________________________________________

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Safe alternatives:______________________________________________________________

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Risky alternatives:_____________________________________________________________

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Form 9D

Thinking Errors That Dampen Oneís Mood

Type of Error Example

Personalizing Thinking all situations and events revolve around you. Everyone

was looking at me.

Magnifying Blowing negative events out of proportion. This is the worst

thing that could happen to me.

Minimizing Downplaying the positives. I got the job, but probably no one

else applied.

Either/or thinking Not taking into account the full continuum. I’m either a loser or

a winner.

Taking events out of context After a successful experience, focusing on one or two rough

points. I may have gotten the job, but I blew that one question

in the interview.

Jumping to conclusions Making a premature conclusion without enough data. I have a

swollen gland. It must be cancer.

Overgeneralizing Making a sweeping judgment based on one event. I failed this

time; I fail at everything I ever try.

Self-blame Blaming oneself rather than specific behaviors that can be

changed. I’m no good.

Mindreading Believing that you know what everyone else is thinking.

Everyone there thought I was fat and ugly.

Comparing Comparing yourself unfavorably with someone else. That

supermodel has a better figure than I do.

Catastrophizing Focusing on the worst possible outcome or explanation. He

didn’t call, and I know something terrible has happened to him.