Therapy Thursday: A New Perspective!

Therapy Thursday: A New Perspective!

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Good morning yal (you are loved)! Happy Thanksgiving!  How are you feeling, really? Are you feeling discouraged because, yet again, “I have not accomplished my goals?” are you feeling defeated because you are realizing you have returned to the same old patterns and behaviors?  Do you find yourself thinking “why am I doing this?” or “I guess I’m just wired this way!”

Awe, I’m so glad! wait! what?… Sure, why? because we are wired certain ways and we do all return to our old patterns especially in times of great stress.  Why? because we do what is familiar not always what is best!  So now that you recognize that a pattern of behavior is not working just start doing what does work! Okay! I hope that helped! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

No, I’m just kidding, however it really is that simple- we just need to know how and how to find the right solutions.  I’m going to oversimplify a very complex system.  It may not help you pass a neurobiology test, but I have to take complex subjects and dumb it down for me, so that I can put it into practice.  So, please understand that some terminology and phrases are coming from a therapeutic background and not collegiate biology professor background:)

Here are some definitions and concepts that may be helpful:

Neuron- a nerve cell.  We have three types of neurons: sensory, motor and interneurons.

Soma- cell body- contains genetic information, maintains the neuron’s structure and provides energy to drive activities.

Nerve- a group of neurons

neuro network- a group of interconnected brain cells (neurons) that fire together.  When the neuron fires simultaneously with another neuron it begins to ‘wire’ together to formulate pattern recognition.  This is where the phrase “fire together wire together’ comes from.  I also think this is why we say “just the way I’m wired, just the way my family is wired…we come from a long line of ….” fill in the blank.

neuroplasticity- the ability of neural networks in the brain to change through growth and reorganization. The brain literally can be rewired! This makes me happy and sad.  I’m happy because I know I don’t have to stay the same and I’m sad for the same reason.  Some of my reasons for my behavior has protected me in the past and has helped me to survive the weight of my issues and issues of others that lead to the development of core beliefs.  Read this list from EMDR Institute

Negative beliefs
I don’t deserve love.
I am a bad person.
I am terrible.
I am worthless (inadequate).
I am shameful.
I am not lovable.
I am not good enough.
I deserve only bad things.
I am permanently damaged.
I am ugly (my body is hateful).
I do not deserve . . .
I am stupid (not smart enough).
I am insignificant (unimportant).
I am a disappointment.
I deserve to die.
I deserve to be miserable.
I am different (don’t belong).
I should have done something.
I did something wrong.
I should have known better.
I cannot be trusted.
I cannot trust myself.
I cannot trust my judgment.
I cannot trust anyone.
I cannot protect myself.
I am in danger.
It’s not okay to feel (show) my emotions.
I cannot stand up for myself.
I cannot let it out.
I am not in control.
I am powerless (helpless).
I am weak.
I cannot get what I want.
I am a failure (will fail).
I cannot succeed.
I have to be perfect (please everyone).
I cannot stand it.
I am inadequate.
I cannot trust anyone.
Positive beliefs
I deserve love; I can have love.
I am a good (loving) person.
I am fine as I am.
I am worthy; I am worthwhile.
I am honorable.
I am lovable.
I am deserving (fine/okay).
I deserve good things.
I am (can be) healthy.
I am fine (attractive/ lovable).
I can have (deserve) . . .
I am intelligent (able to learn).
I am significant (important).
I am okay just the way I am.
I deserve to live.
I deserve to be happy.
I am okay as I am.
I did the best I could.
I learned (can learn) from it.
I do the best I can (I can learn).
I can be trusted.
I can (learn to) trust myself.
I can trust my judgment.
I can choose whom to trust.
I can (learn to) take care of myself.
It’s over; I am safe now.
I can safely feel (show) my emotions.
I can make my needs known.
I can choose to let it out.
I am now in control.
I not have choices.
I am strong.
I can get what I want.
I can succeed.
I can succeed.
I can be myself (make mistakes).
I can handle it.
I am capable.
I can choose whom to trust.

Which list is easier for you to read? Which beliefs do you appear to resonate with? Which beliefs would you like to resonate with?

Now that we know that neurons that fire together wire together and we know that neuroplasticity can and does happen.  That is why most of us can walk and talk and formulate words and sentences and write on paper and type on a keyboard and, I am assuming since you are still reading this, that you can also read and see and feel.  We learn, we grow and we can change.  Challenge your words that you tell yourself, start developing a new pattern of neurons to develop a new normal and familiarity.

“Do not be conformed to this world , but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

Start with saying the belief that you want to believe about yourself so that you can live out the belief in your words and deeds.  For example: If I have developed a core belief of “I can’t trust anyone”.  If me and someone else gets into a disagreement I may become defensive because my core belief tells me “I can’t trust them, they do not have my best interest at heart so immediately disagree!” Now, what if the person I am in a disagreement with has a core belief that says “I can’t trust anyone or I am responsible for everything or I am not worthy or capable or….” (see how our core beliefs cause relational conflict, misunderstandings and division?) Anyway, if I believe at my core that I cannot trust anyone, I can start to change my mind by reminding myself that “I can trust myself”.  Huh, it is up to me? Sure, you can change what you believe.  I don’t have to trust anyone else, because I can trust myself.  Trust that I can make good decisions.  Trust that I will be okay if we do not agree on everything.  And I can trust myself that I can find and recognize trustworthy people!

Shift your perspective!

"Thank you for telling me what I needed to hear and not what I wanted to hear; and doing it in the most loving and stern way I've ever seen!"
- Amanda I.

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