Desirae, a STCH Ministries Family Counselor in Corpus Christi recently experienced God’s encouragement when He used her to make a difference in a young lady’s life. This client, a high school senior, struggled with low self-esteem, eating problems, getting along with her mom, anxiety and family adjustments. Desirae worked with her throughout the school year with a focus on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help her understand and change any irrational thinking patterns she had developed.
This client struggled with a thinking pattern known as emotional reasoning. Sometimes identified as “Feelings as Facts,” this distortion causes the belief if you feel something it must be true. She often thought, “I feel ugly, so I must be ugly.” Desirae taught her about the cognitive triangle, a diagram explaining how thought, emotions and behaviors are all interconnected. In this example, the thought that she must be ugly led to the emotion of disgust. Feeling disgusting led to the action of isolating herself from hanging out with friends or going on a date. Desirae helped the girl to alter her thoughts using the triangle. They replaced the original thought with “Nobody is perfect, not even Instagram models. I have good qualities.” These new thoughts brought a new emotion, feeling worthy, which led to her new action of hanging out with friends.
Although they can see the progress clients make over time, counselors may not always realize how deeply visuals, such as the cognitive triangle, affect their clients. The week after graduation, Desirae received a welcome affirmation; the client showed her a tattoo of a small triangle on her ring finger. The tattoo serves as a permanent reminder of the powerful impact the visual has on her thinking. It helps remind her as she goes off to college in San Antonio that her thoughts, feelings and actions intertwine.
Completing treatment with this client gave Desirae a great feeling of accomplishment. She shares, “This is one of those moments where I understood the importance of encouraging someone to find a passion that not only changes the way they think but the way the world thinks.”
STCH Ministries Family Counselors serve on the frontlines to carry out the mission of healing hearts and sharing hope every day. God, in His goodness, weaves together motivation for each individual through the process. Desirae enjoyed the privilege of sharing in a journey to self-discovery and acceptance and the client now has a story to tell others when they ask her about the triangle.
For information about a STCH Ministries Family Counseling location near you: https://www.stchm.org/family-counseling/family-counseling-locations/