You're so excited. You made new friend and you have SO much in common. You have plans for tonight and are busy getting ready. You get a call from your new friend, and she's cancelling. You're upset and likely to have a lot of thoughts right about now. You're hurt, and you jump to conclusions right away. This is a perfect example of an activating event, and an invitation to practice a popular, evidence-based form of therapy which has been the inspiration for dialectical behavioral therapy and rational emotive behavioral therapy and others.
Think of 3 columns: A, B and C. A is our activating event, B is our objective analysis and C is where we usually go, our gut-punches. The problem is these gut-punches create cognitive distortions and left unchallenged, our cognitive distortions can ruin our self-esteem by attacking our self-concept.
Let's go back to our A in the example, our triggering event. I'm going straight to C and having thoughts like "I can't make and keep friends". The cognitive distortion we have created is "I am a loser".
Does this sound familiar? It should because we do this to ourselves all the time.
The answer is in column B, our objective analysis. Maybe the cancellation had nothing personal to do with me, maybe she had an emergency or just wasn't up to it. We like our new friend and can afford her the benefit of the doubt this time. We like ourselves, and can afford ourselves an alternative to beating ourselves up.
Ever hear of our "self-talk"? We beat ourselves up with regularity and it's not harmless. If we monitored or self talk in whole, we wouldn't be able to do anything, we'd just be at home monitoring our self-talk. Instead we have the gift of these A moments, opportunities to CBT out our triggering events and make it a lifelong habit.
You'll be amazed how much better you feel once you start doing this.
PMHNPs don't usually function as therapists, we largely do medication management. Nothing can replace the benefits of a trusting relationship with a therapist, especially if you have a history of abuse. That trust-based relationship can be worth it's weight in gold. I just thought this would help you feel better.