We are taught in our society to value compassion toward others. We are much less skilled at directing that compassion toward ourselves.
When I first started working with individuals in therapy, I primarily used Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) methods to help clients identify and change the negative thoughts and core beliefs at the foundation of their distress. I believed (and still do) that insight into core beliefs allows people to make sense of their own thoughts and behaviors, and to recognize the connection between the two.
The brain has plasticity. It can be rewired through experience.
What I’ve come to believe more recently is that changing people’s deep seated core beliefs is best accomplished when it occurs within the context of emotional experiences. Such experiences can essentially rewire the brain to perceive and interpret events and experiences in a more healthy way. When I work with individuals, I combine elements of CBT and EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) to promote these “emotionally corrective” experiences, both inside and outside of therapy.
Les Greenberg, PhD., discussing emotion focused therapy and integration of other therapies.