Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Drugs, Sex and Thinking Errors.

In the last week, I’ve been working with a number of clients struggling with integrating the power of thought and the primary thinking error. An example of a primary thinking error might be “I can’t do that.” In recognizing this thinking error, you might see when either you or another person responds to limits in their life when they believe others say “You can’t do that.”

In one scenario, a client will sometimes project as coming from others the message that he or she can’t do something. One example is a client who knows that he is gay. This person might project as coming from others the thought that “I can’t be gay.” Later, they may project that “I can’t do this or that because I will be rejected” which they use as justification for many types of behaviors. To cope with these perceived external limitations, a client will use alcohol and/or drugs as a way to cope with being gay in response to the perceived limitations. Next while under the influence, these external restrictions lose their controlling influence leading to out of control sexual behaviors. (In a similar way, it is possible to map the opposite direction --sexual behavior leading to chemical use.) As a consequence of the sexual behavior and chemical use, the client experiences feelings of shame and guilt. In one example, I saw a client use the relapse on sex and drugs as proof that “they couldn’t do” anything right. In a way, they set themselves up to repeat the cycle using a version of a primary thinking error “I can’t be sober”

In reviewing the power of thought and the idea of the primary thinking error, it might be helpful to review the post I wrote in July. I’ve cleaned up the language since the first draft. In this post, the concepts of the primary thinking error and core thought are the same.


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