Cognitive Distortions

Preventing Panic Attacks - Resources

Preventing Panic Attacks - Resources

Today, we will finish up with resources for further reading, that will be helpful if you or someone you know suffers from panic attacks or anxiety:

What Does it Mean When You Have Abandonment Issues? Part 2

What Does it Mean When You Have Abandonment Issues? Part 2

Have you heard someone say they suffer from abandonment issues? Most people think about adoption or being left on a door step as a child, but abandonment issues can be caused by many more life experiences.

Do You Have "Stinkin' Thinking"? Part 3

Do You Have "Stinkin' Thinking"? Part 3

If you haven't taken the time to read the past 2 blogs this week, please take a moment to do so. They are very short but informative! We are talking about "stinkin' thinking " or also called, in our therapy world, cognitive distortions. Today I am mentioning 2 that are very common and equally damaging. 

Do You Have “Stinkin’ Thinking”? 1-2

Do You Have “Stinkin’ Thinking”? 1-2

Do you have "Stinkin' Thinking"? Many people suffer from cognitive distortions that lead to difficulty in relationships. A cognitive distortion is a thought that seems real in your head, but is twisted by the style of thinking and makes it harder to see the situation clearly. The 10 cognitive distortions we cover this week will help you get clarity on the slippery slope of irrational thoughts. Remember these thoughts can seem logical and possible, but they create an irrational extreme that causes difficulty in thinking clearly about situations

Seeing Yourself in a New Way - 2

As Christy introduced yesterday, we're taking a trait that we'd normally like to change about ourselves and spinning it into something we can see in a different, more positive way. It's interesting that Christy mentioned wanting to be a big personality....because that's exactly what I can struggle with in my life. (By the way, we love Christy and her soft, yet funny demeanor!) I was a pretty quiet and introverted girl until I hit 5th grade....and then it was like this personality explosion occurred. I became outgoing, boisterous and talkative. And. I. Haven't. Stopped.

Having a big personality means that I can be bold, straightforward, loud, ask lots of questions, speak up when I see injustice, and laugh... A LOT. But there's times I walk away from a conversation or a group setting beating myself up for having this personality. Some things I "hear" or say to myself are:

  • "You were too loud"
  • "You shouldn't have said anything"
  • "You're being selfish when you act like this"

As I've gotten older, I realize God made me to have a big personality. And it's good He made me this way! Having a big personality allows me to do many things I wouldn't do otherwise. It allows me to live life in a big, grand way. And I love that. I combat those negative, defeating thoughts with these:

  • "My straightforwardness is valuable. Others won't have to guess how I feel or walk on eggshells around me."
  • "Speaking up against things I know to be wrong protects others. I'd want someone to stand up for me in the same situation."
  • "Sometimes I am loud. It's not to get attention. I'm loud because I'm having a good time. I'm not hurting anyone."

We all have something we would like to see be different about ourselves. We challenge you to take that very thing you'd like to change and look at it in a different light, rather than wish it away altogether. Thank you for reading!

 

Written by: Tamara Portee MA, LMHC, LCAC

*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling  at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.

How To Love Yourself

We all fail. It’s part of being human. Unfortunately many people respond to their mistakes with self-hatred and condemnation. The voice inside beats a person up like an internal bully and abuses it's victim relentlessly.

Believing the lies of this voice results in shame issues, feelings of abandonment, isolation and destruction in relationships.

When a person is under the influence of these issues, they often have trouble giving and receiving love. The voice tells them that they are not loveable due to their failures, so the result is a “love repellant”. The ability to love ones self is negated by the voice; therefore, the ability to accept another’s love is too.

The voice can be strong and will grow overtime when it is reinforced.

So what weapons can we use against such a powerful negative self-critic? LOVE YOURSELF.

This week we are going to share simple, yet powerful tools to help you learn to love yourself and practice it regularly.

As you can see, if you don’t learn the skills to love yourself, you will likely fall into the painful voice’s trap where your thoughts and relationship will be twisted to support it’s lies that you are not loveable.

Read all week for great tools to fight against and be free from the negative voice inside!

Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC

Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri does virtual therapy for residents of Indiana and Florida using videoconferencing technology. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling and adolescent counseling.

Let Go & Let In 3

Today we continue to talk about the negative things that we need to let go of in our lives and the positive things we need to let into our lives-just thinking about these two put a smile on my face! 5. Let In Laughter

Are you going through life being too serious?  Is everything in your life “business” and something you “just need to get through”?  It’s time to lighten up and have a good laugh!

Laughter truly is the best medicine!  If you find your life void of laughter and fun, there is a very good chance you are depressed, withdrawn, and just existing.  It’s ok to have fun and let your guard down.  If you are serious all of the time, you will miss out on so much.  God gave us a sense of humor for a reason!  Let go of all the seriousness and just laugh-it will lighten your mood and improve your attitude-and life won’t feel like such a chore.

6. Let In Joy

What brings you joy?  If you have a hard time answering this, you need to think long and hard about your life and priorities.  We all deserve to feel love and joy in our lives-it’s what helps us get through the really difficult times.  Think about what makes you smile, and let it into your life.

If there are things or people in your life that are stealing your joy, it may be time to make some changes.  Maybe it’s time for a job change, or time to start setting boundaries with a toxic family member or friend.  It’s not always easy, but it is worth it.

Find joy in the little things.  Your children learning something new.  No line at Starbucks this morning.  Your spouse texting you just to say “I love you”.  A positive compliment from your boss.  Joy really comes to us in many different ways throughout our days-we just need to make sure we let it in.

Continue to read this week as we talk more about letting go of negatives and letting in the positives.  Have a great day!

*Adapted from “You Are Worthy of Receiving: 10 Things To Let Into Your Life” by Kathy Kruger

 

Written by Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW

Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group.  Christy enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling.  Christy also provides family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.

Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.

Let Go and Let In 1

How many times do you hear people say, "I'm going to stop doing _____". People commit to stopping bad habits, changing their life styles, and purging out the negatives in their lives. Just look at the average person's list of New Years Resolutions! But do you ever hear someone talk about what they are replacing the bad with? Good for them that they are trying to clean up their life, but if they have a gaping hole that the negative used to fill, they are sure to fill it with a different negative or relapse quickly if they aren't careful.

Kathy Kruger wrote about this concept and the idea of letting go of the bad and letting in the good. This way once the bad is gone, you aren't left empty, but instead are receiving something positive.

So this week we are going to point out 10 positives you can "let in" after you let go of the negatives in your life.

1. Let In Awareness

If you float through life running into anything that comes your way, you might be living without intention. You are living in reaction mode. Letting in awareness means that you take a step back and take in all that is around you. You pay attention and connect the dots of things happening around you. You understand and apply the concept of cause and effect and you think on a deeper level. Don't just say "I'm going to get my anger under control". LET IN awareness by saying, "I am going to stay aware of my emotions and not react in the moment when things go wrong by taking a deep breathe and choosing my words carefully before responding."

2. Let In Love

It is a basic human need to be and feel loved. Do you let love in? Do you allow others to love you, or do you sabotage their love by not letting them get close? Maybe you try to talk others out of reasons to love you by rejecting their compliments or putting yourself down.

True letting love in has to start with YOUR self love before you are ever able to let others love you. If you don't believe that you are loveable, it is difficult to let others love and care for you. When your self talk reflects self-hate, you assume others see you with the same eyes you see yourself with. Let love in by changing your self-talk to a kind, patient, and forgiving voice that allows you to not have to be perfect.

We hope you can purge out the old negatives, and let in these positives. Check back all week for more!

Adapted from "You are worthy of receiving: 10 things to to let into your life" by Kathy Kruger

Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC

Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri does virtual therapy for residents of Indiana and Florida using videoconferencing technology. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling and adolescent counseling.

Why is Terminal Uniqueness Dangerous?

To begin with, terminal uniqueness is rooted in addictive thinking.  It can keep an addict stuck in the cycle of addiction because “no one understands me or is like me”.  This type of thinking protects the addiction, and is a form of denial. Terminal uniqueness allows the individual to hide from the consequences of their decisions.  If an addict views themselves as a special case (i.e. “I can handle this, I am in control-it’s those other people who are not”), they will not be able to see the truth.  This denial feeds into the cognitive distortion that the addicted person is not an addict.

Terminal uniqueness provides a false sense of security, and divides the world into “me versus them”.  The individual rationalizes why they are not the same as other addicts.  They may believe that treatments that help other addicts will not help them, because they are so different.  They may think that they are worse off or better off than other addicts.

Terminal uniqueness is so dangerous because it prevents addicts from seeking help.  It acts as a barrier to reaching out and being honest with communication about just how severe their addiction is.  Since the individual focuses on the differences between them and other addicts, terminal uniqueness may lead to feelings of loneliness and desperation.  This often happens because they find it difficult to relate to anyone—“No one understands me”.

*Source: DARA-alcoholrehab.com

John Lee “AA and Terminal Uniqueness- Are You As Unique As You Think You Are?”

 

Written by: Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW

Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group.  Christy enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling.  Christy also provides family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.

Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.

 

Unhelpful Thinking Habits 3

Continuing with this week's theme of cognitive distortions, we will discuss 3 more negative thinking habits that often times land us smack dab in the middle of trouble. Emotional Reasoning- If I feel badly about a situation, it must be a bad situation.  If I feel anxious, I must be in a dangerous predicament.  Sometimes we evaluate situations based on our past experience and do not see the forest for the trees.  You may feel like you are in trouble without looking at the current situation.  Basing actions and reason solely on feelings can be risky.  Look at the situation for what it is, use your context clues.  Ask yourself, "what about this situation is making me have this feeling"?

Prediction- Do you have a crystal ball?  Or  a Magic 8 ball?  If you think you know what will happen future, you are using prediction.  Now, based on our own experiences, we can guess what may happen.  But often people make decisions based on a false security in prediction that land them in trouble.  Sometime prediction is a self fulfilling prophecy.  Try something instead of predicting the future.  You may surprise yourself!

Mountains and Molehills- Sometimes when we find ourselves in a negative situation, it feels very intense.  Sometimes we find ourselves exaggerating the risks, or dangers.  We overlook the positives or decide not to see the possibilities of our situations.  This is called making a mountain out of a molehill.  This type of negative thinking is really unhelpful.  Creating tunnel vision and only focusing on a blown up version of negativity can skew your perspective and trick you into making decisions out of fear.  Look at the details of your situation for what they are.  Do not exaggerate, it creates a lie.  And who wants to make decisions based on a lie?

Please come back as Natalie and Joleen continue to discuss unhelpful thinking habits.  As always thanks for stopping by!

Source: www.getselfhelp.co.uk

Written by Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT

Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT is a licensed therapist and Registered Play Therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Alexa enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Alexa also does play therapy, family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield