Several folk have noticed this phrase appearing a lot in my blog. I have been asked what it means in English.
This is a good question as it is a central idea within Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement De-sensitisation and Re-processing (EMDR) – indeed, a lot of other therapies. Negative cognitions are phrases we have in our head with which we usually bad-mouth ourselves and/or other people. In therapy it is best to concentrate on ourselves. Therefore, negative cognitions generally begin with “I”.
Most of these beliefs about ourselves are concerned with basic things – control, responsibility, vulnerability, and getting it [life] wrong.
There are many of them, as you might imagine; indeed, as many as we can all generate together. Some examples include:
I am worthless … inadequate …. shameful ….. not loveable …… not good enough,
I deserve to die. ….. to be miserable ….
I don’t belong …..
Typical negative thoughts around RESPONSIBILITY include:
I should have known better.
and around VULNERABILITY include:
I cannot trust myself … my judgement ….. trust anyone
and around CONTROL/CHOICE
I am not in control ….I am powerless …. I am weak …… I am a failure.
Compare that with some positive cognitions (or affirmations, as they can be known).
I deserve love.
I am a loving person.
I am worthy.; I am worthwhile.
I deserve good things.
I can trust myself ….. I am safe now …… I can safely show my emotions ….. I am now in control …..I can get what I want.
Any of these phrases sound interesting?
Try saying one inside your head. What does it feel like?
Do not be surprised if you feel uncomfortable; that can be expected.
Any thoughts on why that might be so? If it is so, what experiment comes to mind to help you on your way?
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