Pine Tree Counselling
Trudi Jane Wyatt, MA, CT, CCC

Counselling services for individual men and women in Calgary, Alberta.

verified by Psychology Today


Phone: 403.270.2386**
Emergencies 911

350 7 Ave SW, Calgary, T2P3N9

Thinking Errors

The Globe and Mail on Feb. 25, 2012 featured “What the Doctor Ordered” — an article touching on the cognitive traps physicians (and almost everyone!) can fall into when making decisions/diagnoses.  The article described a handful of these traps.  There are many!  Are you letting any of them affect your own thinking, and the decisions and emotions that follow?  For example:

  • Have you ever decided to stay in a theatre watching a movie you were not enjoying, just because you already paid for it?  Then you might be susceptible to the thinking error of “sunk costs” or “entrapment”—allowing non-recoverable costs to make you feel as though you’re at the point of no return, because you don’t like waste.  But beware:  Entrapment can lead to unnecessary pain, and missed opportunities.
  • Have you ever found yourself thinking that your spouse “never” does anything nice for you, forgetting all of the times that he or she picked you up from the subway, complimented you, or took you out for a romantic dinner?  Then you might be susceptible to the error of “the availability heuristic”—allowing what comes to mind most easily/vividly (e.g., when your spouse has just said no to your request) to affect your estimate of how common something really is.
  • Do you ever wonder what would have happened “if only” you would have have…  [fill in the blank: made a different decision at work, said something different to a friend, taken another job, etc.]?  Then you may be susceptible to “counterfactual thinking,” which is undoing a real scenario in your mind.

Thinking skills are one aspect looked at in “cognitive” (thinking-related) behaviour therapy (CBT). For help with improving your thinking skills, and in turn trying to make better decisions, please contact me to set up an initial first session. Or, contact me for a brief telephone consultation to see if there might be a good fit between your needs and the work that I do.

Please note that this post is neither counselling nor counselling therapy. If you need these services, please contact me or another professional. If urgent support is needed, calling Calgary Distress Centre at 403.266.4357 is an option. For emergencies, consider calling 911 or going to your local Emergency Room. This page is for information only, is not advice, and implies neither an intent to provide professional services to readers nor that a professional relationship has been established with readers. Current adult residents of the Canadian province of Alberta are the only intended audience of this post.

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