Marriage and Family Therapist
Julie Cohen is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist MFT and a Child Mental Health Specialist with a private practice in Los Angeles. Her areas of focus include: depression, anxiety, panic, post-traumatic stress, bipolar…
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I am Lovable and Capable Part II: The Importance of Recognizing Negative Core Beliefs
Posted in Adoption by Julie Cohen on May 04, 2008

I am asked almost daily how to "fix" depression, anxiety and panic. Many want to know about a pill or a word or where to buy the pixie dust that will "cure" them. I understand the urgency to find that "quick fix." I know personally what it feels like to suffer with anxiety. I have read posts & journals on Daily Strength of people suffering. In my private practice, I have talked to and worked with so many who are also burdened with immeasurable pain as a result of a mood disorder. I wish there were a "quick fix."



But, what if the "fix" isn't about chasing down each symptom with a fire extinguisher? What if, it is really about standing up to negativity from outside sources, as well as the irrational thoughts of our own inner critic. I learned early in my career that chasing down symptoms rarely resolves the underlying issue. Virginia Satir, one of the founders of Experiential Psychotherapy in the 1960's and 1970's used to talk a lot about the role of symptoms. She said that once you deal with the underlying cause, the symptoms would organically go away. In other words, your symptoms let you know something is wrong but your focus should be on what is causing the symptoms. Identifying and attacking the irrational thoughts that drive your symptoms will ultimately bring the "fix."


Believing that you are unlovable and incapable is a common underlying issue that feeds anxiety, depression and panic. It's a core belief that is irrational and has to be challenged and changed. Relief will come when you begin to identify as someone who is lovable and capable and you learn how to keep your IALAC sign intact.


Next: Part lll I am Lovable and Capable: How to Stop Your Sign from Ripping

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13
WOW...YOU SOUND JUST LIKE MY THERAPIST WHO I ADORE :)
IT'S LIKE READING WHAT SHE WROTE EVERYDAY EXCEPT GOING TO SEE HER ONCE A WEEK :)
BLESS YOU.
By KIRBY7  Jul 31, 2008
12
I enjoy reading your posts. After many years of suffering from depression and the past year being a critical point in my life, I am finally starting to feel better about myself. I love the analogy with the sign around your neck and how pieces of it get ripped off on a daily basis. My relief is coming to me now becausee I am feeling lovable and capable lately. I am feeling more power and more positive every day that goes by. What a change to feel powerful instead of powerless over those that like to rip pieces off our sign. Thanks again!!
By lostmysanity  May 15, 2008
11
I find that the core statement that goes along with EFT really helps.

Even though [fill in the blank] I deeply and completely accept myself.

And the more I say that, the more I believe it.
By ImAStar  May 15, 2008
10
It's all fine and dandy getting to the core issues, I have I know why I am the way I am but it still does'nt change the way I think. You have to reprogram years of negative thinking into positive. That doesn't happen overnight. I've developed a personality disorder that learned how to cope with situations through out my life.Now that I know the why's to my problems the problems don't magically disappear.It took alot of programing to get me here and it will take alot more to get me positive. It takes alot more positives to cancel out one negative but it can be done. Lets do it.
By concettah  May 14, 2008
9
I want to believe in myself again and I want to keep telling myself that IALAC, but how do I do this in a hostile work environment? I need answers for dealing with hypercritical people, especially now that I have an ED and this has caused more irrational anxiety/paranoia -- please give us more insight on how to cope.
By EdieJudge  May 13, 2008
8
Yes, again saying you have to tell yourself you are lovable and capable but how do you manage this if everything seems to be conspiring to convince you you are neither? How do you stop seeing only negatives and remember some positives? Any techniques? Concrete ideas instead of vague notions of changing beliefs? If there are any answers they seem slow in coming, this is the second article and not much to work on.
By Lizzie  May 13, 2008
7
I'm an anxiety / panic sufferer and totally agree that it is our faulty beleifs that either cause and/or perpetuate the problem. For me carrying around the beleif that 'something is deeply wrong with me' or 'this is not normal' or 'im going crazy' and then spending all day every day trying to figure it out seemed to be the factor. I've never feeled unloved or incapable though. Perhaps these beleifs are more common with depression. (?)
By Northstar36  May 13, 2008
6
it's easy to say that but if you're losing friends because they say they don't care, how can you say you're lovable and capable and believe it, when no one does.
By crusherofdreams  May 12, 2008
5
It's so sad to me that im not alone in this quest for self love. What on earth has happened to us all? Self love shouldn't be this difficult. But Im truly greatful now that I have DS to come to and talk, and learn how to love myself. Thanks everyone out there that helps me to believe in myself. Good Luck to all, and dont give up
By staceylm  May 11, 2008
4
You have to WANT to feel better and then you can. You have to BELIEVE in yourself.. and then you can. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones..imagine yourself in a "good" spot and do all you can to get there. But most importantly you need to forgive yourself, and accept what and who you are.
We all have " things " or "issues" that might keep us down and keep us thinking on the dark path, but don't you hear that voice that says " I am tired of this and want to feel better"? It's only then can you move forward.
By barbra2  May 10, 2008
3
I agree the battle of challenging the 'core beliefs' is too much, on my own I'm stuck. Seems like there isn't enough love surrounding me to pull through. Will try 'I am lovable and capable' on my bathroom mirror but to be honest i won't hold my breath. Will consider other arena's that can co-operatively compliment the belief challenge: "I am lovable and competent" Now looking for where this is already true in small ways in my life? Waveride
By Waveride  May 10, 2008
2
Although I can rationally challenge my belief system, I find it hard to dissipate the emotions attached to irrational beliefs. I believe your thoughts on extinguishing symptoms are accurate, but I would like to know how you start identifying the cause, so as to remedy it. Thank you for you posts, they are really helpful!
By Awake  May 09, 2008
1
thats sounds like a good idea. how do you get to the point where you can tell yourself those things and actually mean it? i can challenge the negative thoughts but i have trouble with consistently beleiving the fight i put up
By missknownada  May 09, 2008
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