C-APT (See apt), Contemplate, Accept, Push a little, and Transition.

We develop unhealthy patterns and self-beliefs somewhere along the way in our lives. These patterns create difficulties in our relationships, they create stress and anxiety, and sometimes they can make us question our own worth. We experience difficult periods – life takes shape no matter who we are — and some times it is not clear why we seem to fall in the same hole again and again. We need to contemplate why, with or without someone else, possibly a psychotherapist.

Such contemplation and brain storming help us to become aware of our patterns and self-beliefs. Then we wish to just push them away, but they don’t go away so quickly! It is a process like in the famous poem “Autobiography In Five Chapters” by Portia Nelson,  also mentioned in the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche.

Taking ownership of our own patterns is not enough, but true acceptance requires recognizing our strengths and using them to push ourselves towards healthier interactions with the world: less anxiety, less turmoil in relationships, less addictions/obsessions to the wrong people/ideas. It helps to practice self-acceptance (not self-criticize) and transition to a better and stronger phase in life. This is a process that needs to be repeated several times in life – in five chapters! Only then we master the issue at hand.

I call this process C-APT (See apt). I use cognitive therapy tools  for restructuring dysfunctional thoughts into constructive ones, EMDR  in order to clear irrational self-beliefs, and mindfulness meditation techniques  specially designed for dealing with bothersome thoughts and feelings.

I have successfully used this type of work in the following areas:

1) Anxiety, panic, phobias, social anxiety, stress,
2) Relationship issues (Couples and individuals who want to stay together, or break up, or decide what to do),
3) Loss in life and making sense of it,
4) Lack of self-esteem.

You can use C-APT for short term quick relief from a crisis situation (working only on the first three chapters), or for long term therapy for transitioning to a better and stronger place.