Guest Blog (c)2020 by Julie A. Reed, LPC, NCC, CCTP
From Part 1: Have you caught yourself thinking things like; “I’m not lovable”, “I’m stupid”, “it was my fault this happened to me”, “I must deserve this”, “I don’t matter”, “there must be something wrong with me”? If you have, I assure you, you are not alone. And there is good news, these negative thoughts you were programmed to believe are LIES.
You might ask, “how could we possibly be responsible for telling ourselves these horrible lies?” Or, you
might be thinking, “but these things are true, my relationships prove it.” I would challenge you by
exploring the definition of confirmation bias. In my own words, confirmation bias is defined as,
subconsciously seeking out situations, people/relationships and interactions that confirm what we
believe to be true. For example, if we believe we are worthless, we might subconsciously surround
ourselves with people who, due to their own issues, are not trustworthy. Therefore, if this person breaks
our trust, it is confirmed in our mind that the lie is indeed true-we indeed are worthless. Can you imagine the toll this takes on us after years of practice?
It may be extremely difficult to uncover these hidden messages you have been telling yourself.
Sometimes they become so ingrained in us, even neurobiologically (which is beyond the scope of this
article), that we actually believe we were born this way. Or worse yet, we are not aware there is a
problem and do not question these messages at all. When the latter happens, it is our behaviors and/or
emotions that send signals of distress. This might be manifested in the inability to have healthy
relationships, or we might always seem to find ourselves in unsafe situations, or maybe we are highly
anxious or sad, the list goes on and on. The lies whispered to us during past traumatic events
could very well be the culprit.
The good news is, there is hope for healing. Through a strong therapeutic alliance these lies
can be dispelled and the cycle of negative self-talk can be broken. Many therapeutic techniques and
coping mechanisms exist, that are effective in dealing with the wake trauma leaves behind. If you
suspect you are struggling with negative self-talk, I suggest seeking out a therapist who subscribes
to some form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), as well one who utilizes a mindfulness based approach. It has been my experience, that combining the two, is an exceptionally effective way to break the cycle of negative thinking.
Utilizing CBT techniques such as Socratic questioning, constructing realistic self- affirmations,
counterstatements and/or reframing, are efficacious in disputing the lies we’ve believed about
ourselves. Mindfulness is a wonderful way to train the mind to be psychologically flexible and roll with
the punches of life. Among many other benefits, practicing mindfulness also creates the space needed
to slow down the automatic cycle of self-defeating thoughts, thus exposing these cognitive distortions.
Learning mindfulness and CBT techniques will empower you to untangle your intermeshed thoughts,
feelings, and behaviors and create new, healthy habits. It takes time and practice, but it is well worth
the effort! – COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME
Julie Reed is owner of Reed Counseling and offers her expertise in Northeastern Ohio. If you live in the Cleveland area, you may reach Julie at 440-742-4425 or Jareedcounseling.com
Today’s Helpful Word
The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear? The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge for the ears of the wise seek it out.
Nancy’s latest FREE e-books! Click on the pictures for immediate access:
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.
NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
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