Changing Negative Thoughts

Your thoughts are just thoughts. They have no meaning other than the meaning you give to them. You are not the sum of your thoughts. Your thoughts do not define who you are. They are fleeting, here one moment, gone the next. They are neither good nor bad.


Depression debilitates. It saps your energy, erodes your confidence and leaves you in a mental haze that makes it impossible to do the things you once took for granted.   You become a prisoner to your racing thoughts and lose interest in the people and activities that used to satisfy you.  It’s hard to pick up one foot and put it in front of the other.  Just getting out of bed can be overwhelming.  Taking a shower and going to work can become impossible.  Even mindless TV doesn’t hold your interest.  The thoughts just won’t let you go.  You beat yourself up for not being able to do the things you once did with ease.  You ruminate about conversations that happened decades ago and what you should have said.  You can’t let go of the question, “what if this never ends?”  Life just doesn’t seem worth living.

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Storytelling: Changing the Narrative

Our memories of past events come from “narrative truth,” rather than “historical truth.” We remember the stories we tell ourselves about what happened, not what actually happened.

A couple of blogs ago, I talked about the five options our clients (and we) have when confronted with a problem. We can:

  • Solve the problem in whole or part
  • Change the way we think and feel about it
  • Radically accept it
  • Make ourselves miserable
  • Make the situation worse

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Mindfulness Across Spiritual Traditions

I have started explaining mindfulness and meditation to some clients in the context of their own spiritual tradition, when appropriate. The key words here are “some clients” and “when appropriate.” Careful assessment is needed ….

As therapists, whether we are using DBT, MBSR, ACT, MBCT, MBRE or another mindfulness-based approach, most often we tell clients mindfulness evolved out of Eastern spiritual traditions when we introduce it.  We take care to explain that the benefits of mindfulness are documented with hard science[i] and mindfulness will be presented based on the science stripped of its spiritual roots.

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Choosing A Therapist

Our therapists all use evidence-based approaches. This means what we do in therapy is based on extensive research showing the approach achieves its goals with most individuals.

Not feeling too well todayFinding the “right” therapist to help you achieve your therapy goals can be tough. You deserve a therapist who fits your needs, someone competent with whom you feel comfortable.

If you’re reading this blog, you likely have an interest in St. Louis DBT, LLC. We’re glad you are here and hope you will take time to read our blogs and study our website. After you’ve gotten to know us a bit, we offer a free telephone consultation. We encourage you to make the most of it. The information below will help you use your time wisely.

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Faulty Thinking

To be sure, she had been through a lot of pain in her life. At the same time, however, she suffered more because of the irrational “lessons” she had learned from the pain.

Clients with borderline personality disorder often assume the worst. No one is ever trustworthy.  If the kids go on a canoe trip, they are going to drown.  If a stranger strikes up a conversation in the grocery store, she just knows the person has an agenda and it isn’t good.   If a supervisor says something about her work, she knows she is going to get fired any minute.  There always has to be someone else to blame.   Nothing happens by accident; someone has to have caused her suffering.   At the same time, she constantly criticizes herself.  She never measures up to her own expectations.  The rare times she notices something good in her life, she quickly dismisseds it, telling herself it couldn’t be true or surely it wouldn’t last.  She is isolated and miserable.

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