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Monday, July 21, 2014

Psychotherapy Blog: Gaining a New Perspective in Therapy About Yourself and Others

Ingrained negative thoughts can impact how you see yourself and others.  When these thoughts are longstanding and unconscious, you can make assumptions about yourself and the world around you that aren't true.  Understanding and processing these thoughts in therapy can give you a new perspective and improve the quality of your life.  This is one of the many benefits of going to therapy.

Gaining a New Perspective in Therapy About Yourself and Others
Let's take a look at some common negative thoughts:

About Yourself:
"I'm unlovable and nobody cares about me."
"I hate the way I look."
"I'm stupid."
"I never do anything right."
"Nothing good ever happens in my life."
"Nothing is ever going to change in my life so why should I even try to change?"

About Others:
"I can't trust anyone."
"Nobody likes me."
"Everyone has it in for me."
"Nobody ever gives me a break."
"People look at me funny."
"People think I'm ugly."

I'm sure you can probably come up with many other examples, but the examples above are some of the most common ones.

The Effect of Ingrained Negative Thoughts
One of the major problems with ingrained negative thoughts is that people don't question them.  These thoughts are so much a part of their unconscious mind and often buried so deep that people make assumptions based on these thoughts without questioning these assumptions.

Gaining a New Perspective in Therapy About Yourself and Others: The Effect of Negative Thoughts

This can lead to many problems, including lifelong feelings of shame and doubt about themselves as well as missed opportunities in their personal lives and careers.

A Reality Check on a Distorted Perspective
For people who might have some idea that their perspective might be skewed, asking a friend can provide a reality check.

By getting a different perspective, they're often surprised that the assumptions they've made are mistaken.

Gaining a New Perspective in Therapy About Yourself and Others: A Reality Check

This can be very helpful in a particular situation, but for people who have an ingrained pattern of negative thinking, it often doesn't have a generalizable effect.  In other words, it can help with the situation at hand, but it might not help the next time it comes up or in another situation.

It also doesn't get to the root of the problem or help them to recognize what's causing them to think this way or, most importantly, how to change.

In a future article, I'll discuss more about how therapy can give you a new perspective about yourself and others.

Getting Help in Therapy
People who get help in therapy for negative thinking are often relieved to be able to let go of their negative assumptions about themselves and others.

They have an opportunity for a new and more positive perspective.  They also have a better possibility of understanding themselves and others.

They learn to feel better about themselves.  They also learn to have better relationships in their personal lives and in their careers.

If you feel that the way you think is having a negative impact on your life, you could benefit from working with a licensed mental health professional who has expertise with this problem.

Getting help in therapy could be the beginning of lifting a big burden off your shoulders.

About Me
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist who works with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website:  Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006 or email me:  josephineolivia@aol.com.

Also see my article:
Coping With Changes in How You See Yourself






















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