ACoAs – ANXIETY & T.E.A. (Part 4)


if I’m paying attention to my needs!

PREVIOUS: T.E.A. & anxiety (#2)

T.E.A. charts from GOOD MEDICINE˜ Dr. James Hawkins

What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)? – Using T.E.A.
2. ANXIETY (cont)
⚑ TOXIC anxiety //  💚 GROWTH anxiety

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy’s (CBT) basic messages :
◆ What we think and do affects the way we feel.
◆ Our best efforts to cope with our emotions often end in unintended consequences which keep us from feeling better
◆ We can understand problems by examining our thoughts, emotions, physical sensations & actions in specific situations (all interact in a ‘hot cross bun’ format).

a. NEGATIVE BELIEFS create painful emotions. Just as we may sometimes be hungry or thirsty for food or drink that in fact isn’t good for us, so emotions are not always indicators of current reality. It’s important to notice when an intense emotion is healthy energy, vs. when it wants to push us in a distorted or unsafe direction.

Unfortunately for most of us, we didn’t always get the right responses to our original needs.  Our family, schools, religion  & other important early influences rarely were respectful nor encouraged our normal drive to satisfy healthy needs.  It’s inevitably then that we try to make sense of why they didn’t.

As children, we had very limited information about the world, & expected that the adults would know more & better than us.
If we ran into conflict or other unsatisfying interactions with adults, our normal child’s narcissism assumed we were at fault – not them. This is especially true because many of them actually told us we were wrong & the problem, & we had no choice but to believe it.
We assumed that: ‘It must be because I’m are unlovable, untrustworthy, not good enough – that I’m treated this way.

✦ For many of us, we bring into adulthood the original trauma which lead to —-> a great deal of suffering, which led to —-> the toxic beliefs, that has inevitably lead to —-> problems in relationships & behavior in the present

b. UNHEALTHY ACTIONS are created by toxic beliefs
This chart highlights how dysfunctional Behavior patterns develop from unmet Needs & toxic Beliefs – given what we were living thru , & may even have served us well for survival. But as adults they definitely do not work in the larger world (outside family), which we can see now with more info & experience

c. Mental/ Emotional Health is based on providing personal & universal human NEEDS & RIGHTS
Children need security, stability, feeling valued, loved, encouraged & trusted – to build independence. And these needs continue into adulthood, especially for ACoAs, who are still not allowed to satisfy them.

The drive to fulfill needs shows up in primary adaptive emotions that push us towards psychological health, like hunger or thirst push towards satisfying basic physical health.  It’s imperative that we allow ourselves to FEEL & HONOR them. (For adults, see list of needs on tree above) (ChartsMORE info)

NEXT: Being Disappointed (#1)

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