ACoAs – ANXIETY & T.E.A. (Part 3)

if I’m paying attention to my NEEDS!

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

SITEs: What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)? – Using T.E.A.

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


1a. UNHEALTHY (painful) emotions come from focusing on negative BELIEFS. “Just as we may sometimes be hungry or thirsty for food or drink that in fact isn’t good for us, so emotions don’t always push us in healthy directions.  It’s important to be perceptive about when emotions are healthy drives and when they are in danger of pushing us in distorted or unhelpful ways.

Unfortunately for nearly everyone, as we grow up, we don’t always experience ideal responses to our needs.  Our parents, brothers & sisters, schooling, and other important early influences may well not be respectful and encouraging of these drives to satisfy our healthy needs.  We pretty inevitably then try to make sense of why our needs aren’t being met. 

At this stage we’re still only children.  We have very limited information about the world, and we expect that adults will know more and better than we do.  If we run into conflict or other unsatisfying interactions with adults (parents, school, and so on), chances are we will assume that we’re the ones – not the adults – who are at fault.  It must be because we are unlovable, untrustworthy, not good enough that causes us to be treated in this way.  These toxic emotions and beliefs about ourselves, others, the world are likely to stay with us into adulthood.
These then typically lead to understandable but often eventually problematic forms of behavior.”

1b. TOXIC BELIEFS lead to Unhealthy Action
This diagram highlight how inadequately met Needs/ unhelpful Beliefs tend to generate Mal-adaptive Behavior patterns. In childhood these often were our only options, made sense from that perspective, & may even have served us well under difficult conditions. But they are not longer useful in the larger world (outside our family), —– being adults now with more info & experience.

2. MENTAL/Emotional HEALTH – focuses on our personal & universally human NEEDS

“Children needs security, stability, feeling valued & loved, feeling encouraged & trusted to build independence. Most of these needs continue into adulthood.  The drive to satisfy them emerges as primary emotions that push us towards psychological health, like hunger or thirst push towards satisfying basic physical needs and physical health.   It’s good to contact & ‘listen to’ adaptive primary emotions that push to satisfy basic psychological needs.”
(For adults, include list on tree above).

NEXT: Being Disappointed (#1)


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