Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion.
Heal the Past
Whether you have trauma or abuse in your past, regrets, bad relationships, neglect or constantly think of 'the good old days' your past can have a powerful effect on your present and your future. Maybe you pine for a lost love, or think your best days are behind you, maybe you can't seem to break free from old family expectations and obligations. Or maybe past shame and guilt keep you paralyzed from taking action to create the life you want. Where in your past do you feel that negative charge, that memory that keeps coming back every time you start to make progress in your life? Whatever it may be, 'living' in the past is keeping you from creating your very best present and future. This often shows up as anxiety, depression, procrastination, and isolation, among other symptoms and behaviors.
Our core beliefs are the beliefs that we acquired as infants, children and teenagers. These beliefs are often unconscious, yet have a profound effect on how we engage with the world. A child that was abused may have a core belief that they are bad and unworthy of love, even if they logically know that they are a good person, they still find it difficult to believe that someone might actually love them. Maybe in childhood you were constantly praised and encouraged to 'practice until perfect' by family and teachers, and developed a core belief that only by doing everything perfectly can you be loved and accepted. Our core beliefs can have us unconsciously sabotaging our efforts for a happy and content life. The fantastic news is that core beliefs can be changed, but it takes effort and dedication to uncover the beliefs that are no longer serving you and replace them with shiny new health giving beliefs. It is much easier and quicker to do it with the help of a trained caring therapist.
Core Beliefs That Are Keeping You Stuck
Something is Wrong With Me: I am fatally flawed, stupid, defective, everyone else is better than I am.
I am Unloveable: Nobody wants me, I am better off alone, people don't like me.
The World is Very Dangerous: I'm powerless, I can't trust anyone, I'm weak, never let your guard down, don't ever reveal who I really am.
I am Not Good Enough: I'm a failure, I can't change, I am always second best and there is no point in trying.
I Don't Belong: Like I am from a different planet, it's too hard for me to fit in, I have to hide my true self to be accepted, I am better off alone.
Everything is My Fault: If I work hard enough I can fix people, I have to try harder, I have to help everyone, I am selfish to think about myself.
Therapy for Healing Your Past
The beliefs above are not true about you. They may feel very true to you and continue to cause pain, but you do have the power to change them and improve your life. In therapy we will start by explore childhood experiences, family patterns and personal patterns. We will start to make the unconscious conscious which will give you choices to consider, rather then reactions you must manage. We will grieve past hurts, betrayals and regrets in a safe non-judgmental space. As we continue to find the parts of you still lingering in the past and the old defense mechanisms that are no longer working for you, we will be building shame resiliency and new coping skills. I take a trauma informed approach as well as a heaping helping of self-compassion therapy when working with your negative core beliefs.
Shame can be a powerful emotion that often keeps us from attending to our past, but it does not have to keep you stranded in the past and stagnate in the present. Shame begins to dissolve when it is shared with someone safe and understanding. As your therapist I have no agenda for your life and your past can not hurt or anger me.
It is possible to move forward and create a wonderful life and it is easier and faster with someone by your side.
Professional Counseling in Lake Oswego, SW Portland, Beaverton, Tigard & Greater Portland