We all have that little voice inside our heads that attempts to hold us back through the use of self-despairing statements. Whether the statements are about our looks, abilities, or the core of who we are, these statements become part of who we are and keeps us from becoming who we can be. These negative self-talk statements are worse for people who have depression and for those with low self-esteem, because these statements keep the person trapped and do not allow them to move forward easily.
Replacing negative thought patterns is addressed through the use of the DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) and in individual therapy. The Sorenson's Ranch School DBT group addresses identifying negative thought patterns by introducing the idea of cognitive myths and teaching the students to challenge these myths that they say to themselves. An example of a myth that students learn to challenge is: "It will kill me if he does not talk to me." A possible challenge is: "I won't like it, but I will move on if he does not talk to me." Other myths include, "It does not matter; I don't really care." This one is generally used to avoid sharing feelings and managing emotions. Many students challenge this one with "I really do care and this is why." Students are then taught to identify their own myths and challenge these and use these challenges every time that myth comes to mind. They practice replacing that thought with the challenge.
The next step in the Sorenson's Ranch School DBT group is to learn about cheerleading statements. Students are taught to make their own cheerleading statements to give themselves encouragement and to empower themselves. These statements are particularly helpful for overcoming fears and helping the student to feel better about their self and to build upon their strengths.
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