Friday, 19 August 2011

Improving Your Thinking

How do you think that your core beliefs and 'rules for life' affect your thinking as events happen?

I was recently working with a client who in many contexts in life is positive, pretty flexible and easy going. Then she was involved in a serious non-fault car accident.

After the car accident my client experienced post traumatic stress symptoms including regular day and nigh-time flashbacks following which the same sorts of questions came up in her mind - 'How could that driver be allowed on the road?' and 'I cannot trust other drivers anymore'.

My client's relevant 'rules for life' relating to this were quite rigid e.g. only competent drivers should be allowed on the road - because of course this is not the case and despite the characteristics of the driver - including their being regarded as 'old' - this was a car 'accident'.

These rules for life and core beliefs were causing negative thinking and in turn negative emotions and communication whenever she thought about the accident and in talking with others.

This was reinforcing and compounding negative thoughts in her brain and eventually, unable to control these negative thought and emotions, she came to see me.

As well as negativity around the car accident incident my client had also started thinking about other negative experiences from way back in her life that had seen her rules and core beliefs undermined in some way.

We know that this is the subconscious mind's way of protecting us and causing a 'fight or flight response' - responding with the primitive response patterns of anger, anxiety or depression and sometimes two or even three of these.

Once we identified the contextual core beliefs and rules for life that were negatively impacting my clients' thinking she was able to develop more enabling beliefs and flex her rules in this area somewhat.

We then found that her awareness level negative automatic thoughts occurred less and less and within a few sessions she felt calmer about what had happened to her and wise having found out how her mind worked and how to manage and control it.

Anxiety, stress and feeling low or depressed are lonely disabling feelings which you do not have to bear.

If you would like support in addressing any emotions you are suffering with please get in touch via West of England Coaching and Counselling.

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