Are You a Prisoner of Your Own Thoughts?

Are You A Prisoner Of Your Own Thoughts - Cheryl Woolstone Counselling Blog

Put a name to the impulses that direct your actions!

Clients are always relieved to know that there is a more accurate explanation for unhealthy patterns than the explanation they give themselves.

Usually the personal explanation is punitive, self-deprecatory, not inspiring or enlightening.

Jeffrey E. Young, PhD., developed a number of distinct, recurring patterns, laid down in early childhood, that continue to shape adult thought, behaviour, relationships and life choices.

How people think about their lives determines how they feel about themselves and their life circumstances.

People tend to relate to one or more of these 18 Lifetraps. Which ones sound familiar to you?

  • Abandonment – cling to others for fear of being left
  • Emotional Deprivation – missed out on nurturing
  • Entitlement – hate to be told what to do and want what they want, regardless of rules
  • Defectiveness – feel unworthy of love
  • Subjugation – believe others have the upper hand, worry about pleasing
  • Unrelenting Standards – need to always be the best, constant pressure to achieve
  • Mistrust – fear others will intentionally hurt them
  • Self-Sacrifice – put needs of others first
  • Social Isolation – don’t relate well to others
  • Dependence – often feel helpless and incapable of decision
  • Vulnerability to Harm or Illness – constantly fear they will become ill or be involved in a catastrophe
  • Enmeshment – weak sense of personal identity, cling to others to feel complete
  • Failure – believe will never succeed
  • Insufficient Self-Control – quit at the first sign of frustration, lack self discipline
  • Approval Seeking – place extreme importance on the opinions of others
  • Negativity – focus on the worst parts of life
  • Inhibition – afraid to show emotion
  • Punitiveness – believe the smallest mistake deserves punishment

The risk is letting these Lifetraps define you and shape your world.

As clients recognize their particular Lifetrap, or pattern of dysfunctional thinking, they realize that, although they are not entirely to blame for their reactions, they are responsible for learning to control them better.

For couples, understanding your partner’s Lifetrap deepens compassion and decreases reactivity. Information really is power.

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This entry was posted on Monday, December 20th, 2010 at 8:00 AM and is filed under Thoughts and Therapy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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