A negative cognition is a negative belief you have about yourself now in relation to the past traumatic event. The negative cognition is usually inappropriate and dysfunctional. It is usually based in one of four themes:
• Shame (I am something “wrong.”)
• Guilt (I did something “wrong.”)
• Safety (Vulnerability)
• Control (Lack of choice)
Some examples of negative cognitions are:
• “I am not good enough.”
• “I should have known better.”
• “I cannot protect myself.”
• “I am helpless.”
This is the negative vicious cycle:
• I was taught, through trauma, how to think, act and feel about myself, reinforced by experiences, family, friends, abusers and society so…
• I am afraid of the world due to my negative cognitions being reinforced and validated by abusive people in my life and…
• I behave in negative ways to gain validation of my shame, blame and guilt, therefore…
• My experiences continue to reinforce the negative cognitions that I was taught to think & feel about myself and others by my abuser(s),
EMDR Is an Effective Tool for Toxic Relationship Recovery
EMDR moves an event from short term memory storage into long term storage. This is where what is useful is learned and made available for future use. The negative cognition becomes less and less vivid and valid with each set of bilateral stimulation (eye movement or tapping or tones).
If you want to make this happen:
1. Go to www.emdr.com , click on “Find an EMDR Clinician”, to find a trained psychotherapist in your area, make an appointment. Go and make it a gift to you for the holidays.
2. If you don’t have insurance, call your local mental health center to find an EMDR trained psychotherapist who works on a sliding scale.
3. Be safe. Do what is safe and good for you during the holidays instead of doing what you think you “should” do.