Debra Wesselmann, MS, LIMHP

Debra Wesselmann, MS, LIMHP

Author, Mental Health Therapist, Researcher, Expert in Attachment Trauma

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Talking Back to Your Emotional Brain

DepresyonDistressing events from earlier life are stored in the emotional part of the brain along with negative thoughts and beliefs that were present at the time of the trauma.   Old negative beliefs naturally get triggered for any of us when we are feeling vulnerable.  Pay attention to your thoughts.  You may notice yourself thinking, “I’m stupid” or “I’m worthless.”  You may notice yourself thinking, “I’m not safe,” or “Bad things always happen to me.”  All of these thoughts are irrational beliefs that typically accompany traumatic events.

Don’t believe everything you think.  Don’t be complacent and let the negative thoughts run away with you.  You are not your thoughts.  Thoughts are just thoughts.  Beliefs can be accurate, or beliefs can be irrational and false.  Talk back to them.  Remind yourself:  “I don’t have to be perfect.  I’m OK as I am.”

  1. Draw a line down the center of a piece of paper.
  2. Write your irrational negative thoughts on the left side of the paper.
  3. Think about your most rational friend or acquaintance and ask yourself, “What would he/she say to me about these statements?”
  4. Write down the rational responses on the right side of the paper.
  5. Do this exercise again and again on a regular basis.

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