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Change Your Thinking: Overgeneralization

In this session of our Change Your Thinking series, we cover the distortion in thinking of Overgeneralization that is common among Dementia caregivers. Overgeneralization is defined as, “a mental skewing wherein a person sees a sole occurrence as an invariable rule.” Overgeneralization occurs when we use overly broad language such as “always,” “never,” “everybody,” or “nobody” in our evaluations of events or people. For example, Since I overate at the last party, I know I will always overeat at every party I go to. This type of thinking and language matters because once you start using words like “always” or “never,” you begin to act toward the pattern of events instead of a singular event. People who overgeneralize tend to be angrier and express that anger in less healthy ways; therefore, suffering greater consequences as a result of their anger. 

We have the power to change our thoughts and overcome the negative patterns of overgeneralization. This video session outlines three steps to change your thinking surrounding overgeneralized thoughts. When you feel the need to respond with an overgeneralized statement, you can first think through the accuracy of the statement. After thinking through the facts of the situation, you should replace overly broad language with something more realistic. Lastly, it is important to not minimize the pattern if there is a legitimate pattern or problem to address. Remember, changing your thinking is a process that takes place over time. 

For more resources on Overgeneralization, please see the content mentioned in our session.

Overgeneralization – Lesson 2 – Free Anxiety Relief Course with Luke Horton

This session is part of the Change Your Thinking series of programs on the caregiver mindset. Recorded sessions are 30 minutes or less in length.

The James L. West Center for Dementia Care is a faith-inspired, not-for-profit organization serving persons impacted by dementia. As a trusted expert, we provide personalized, innovative care and support for families and specialized education for caregivers, healthcare professionals, and the community at-large.

Connect with us at 817-877-1199; caregiver@jameslwest.org; or stop by our building at 1111 Summit Ave., Fort Worth, TX 76102.

Visit our Education Calendar for a full list of upcoming programs and learning opportunities, or check out James L. West Learn to browse our video library.