Aaron T. Beck an American Psychiatrist and founder of cognitive therapy, developed a cognitive model of depression. He found that one factor which was present in depressed people was a systematic negative bias in how they thought of themselves (worthless, inadequate), the world (overwhelming, full of insurmountable obstacles) and the future (hopeless). These negative thoughts are linked to beliefs. These beliefs act as a lens through which we interpret and perceive the world. Some examples of negative beliefs could be – I am not good enough, I must succeed, I must be loved by everyone, people can’t be trusted, I will end up alone.
What we think and believe about our situation effects how we feel and behave.
Put another way: Our thoughts and beliefs may lead us to behave in a way to avoid feeling bad.
Conversely: How we behave can directly influence how we feel, by enhancing or detracting from our mood.
If we think of ourselves as inadequate, and believe that we must be liked by everyone, the consequence may be trying to always please others or avoiding learning new things, poor self-esteem, anxiety and depression.
If we believe that we must always be the best or perfect at what we do, then a consequence may be procrastination, self-doubt, shame, anxiety and depression.
We all have negative thoughts and beliefs about ourselves. If you want the life you desire or to feel happier, then you can benefit enormously from being mindful around your thoughts and also digging into what beliefs may be lurking in the background, and then work to create more realistic beliefs and healthy thinking, as well as employing ways of being to support improved mood.
With the help of counselling, we can work together to identify what thoughts, beliefs, feelings and behaviours may not be supporting you in your life, and take healthy action. One aim of counselling will be to equip you with your own tools to be able to identify and take action yourself in the future.
If you would like to take a step towards feeling better, either call, text or email Bronwyn for an appointment in her counselling rooms in Greenlane, Auckland at Your Path Psychotherapy and Counselling.