“The Un’s”

I was working with an individual client recently in an EMDR session focusing on negative beliefs about herself. She labeled these “the uns” and I asked her if I could borrow that term for this blog. I loved that she called her thoughts “the uns” and thought that so many of us can relate to this. Many of us have negative beliefs that have been created from one traumatic incident or a lifetime of incidents.

I wonder how many of us can relate to “the uns”: I’m unloved, unimportant, uncared for, unsafe, unworthy. I hear these negative beliefs in sessions every day and a lot of the time, we are not aware that these can be false and can also be a normal reaction to the life event(s).

When I have met with clients that were aware that the beliefs were untrue, they would present with confusion because emotionally, the beliefs felt true, even if their logical mind had contradicting information. Emotions tend to win in this battle because they feel so much more uncomfortable.

“When was the first time you felt or thought that and when was the worst time you felt or thought that”, I always ask my clients when I meet them. Many clients present with an “un” that is disrutptive to their current relationship or situation but then looking back on the two questions above, they can trace the negative thought back to an earlier trauma.

If you relate to any of “the uns” (or any other negative self belief), I’d encourage you to think about those 2 questions for a minute because that is probably the root of that negative belief. Going back to identify the origin is sometimes helpful because it starts to help you make sense of all those “Why” questions. It also helps to start processing that negative belief so that you can start to replace those negative beliefs with positive, healthy beliefs.

If you find that you are getting stuck in those beliefs, EMDR may be beneficial to quicker healing.

This post was written by Minon Maier – LMFT

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