Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Assumptions and Core Beliefs

Our negative thoughts come from far deeper and from earlier life experiences. CBT is about challenging our daily negative thoughts and mainly about our ‘here and now’. However, there are often deeper assumptions and core beliefs which underlie the surface every day negative thoughts.

There are several ways to identify underlying assumptions and Core beliefs.

  1. There may be recurrent themes which emerge during treatment.
  1. Global self-statements such as ‘stupid’ and/or ‘weak’ may reflect self-expressions .
  1. Memories of childhood experiences may ‘match’ current beliefs.
  1. The Dysfunctional Attitude Scale will high-light areas of vulnerability and give examples of specific attitudes.
  1. The Downward Arrow Technique .

Assumptions and Core Beliefs.

Underlying Assumptions are the rules we hold, usually recognized if we use

‘I should’ statements, or

‘If’……. ‘Then’

Core Beliefs are the absolute statements we make about ourselves. These come from very deep down, from experiences in the past and from the negative (or positive ) messages we received from others.


‘I am a failure’

‘I am loved’

‘I am valued’

‘I am accepted’

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