Words To Live By
How words have an impact on your healing
Sara Alia, MC R. Psych (provisional) – Refresh Counselling
Words to live by.
With so many words in the English language, it can be difficult to find the ‘right words’ in describing a feeling, an experience or one’s insight when delivering a message – particularly in the counselling context. Some words are positive life-giving ones, while others are draining and harmful to one’s mental and emotional well-being.
A psychologist could listen for the choice of words used by clients in describing their lived experience to understand—are they life giving or harmful ones? Such words as “I can’t” or “I don’t “or significant phrases like “Either I do x, y and z or else I am a failure…” and “I should be perfect at …” reveal what one’s self-perception is and unfortunately, it appears that for many the reality is an unpleasant one, extending to a vast population even for those who don’t struggle with anxiety and depression.
In lots of cases, when the negativity that sits in one’s mind is brought to the surface, a psychologist could embark in the process of sharing that such thoughts often coincide with something Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) titles, cognitive distortions. Many clients are intrigued when learning about such thinking patterns and yet feel a strong comfort in realizing that they are very common. Awareness of such negative thoughts is the first step in creating change, on various levels.
So, what’s so important about doing this?
Well, the basic premise of CBT outlines that thoughts influence one’s feelings and in turn their behaviour. So, if you have been feeling down and not acting like your usual or ideal self, it is possible that these feelings and behaviours can be explained by your thought process, according to CBT.
The good news is there are various ways to work with such harmful thoughts that can and do impact one’s lived experience. With the aid of a mental health professional, one can learn to adopt a healthier mental space, one that engages words to live by.
We welcome you to contact Refresh Counselling today if this blog interests you to learn more as all of our therapists are able to offer the CBT approach, along with others!