Core belief starts to develop even before a child is born as there is already a pattern of behaviour the parents practice on a regular basis. Core belief is created by events, but more so, it is significantly impacted by how events are handled or not effectively handled. Core belief is the inner voice telling a person what to believe about him/herself. For many the core belief is “not good enough, not important, not valued.”
Core belief drives everything a person does. People are constantly trying to prove to themselves what they believe about themselves is true. Many people seek counselling to deal with a specific symptom and often can feel a sense of accomplishment in dealing with this issue in a short period of time. Unfortunately, this does not often result in long term success. Trobak Holistic Counselling uses a long term therapeutic approach focused on challenging and changing the core belief of “not good enough, not important, not valued” to a core belief of “good enough, important, valued.”
We see people struggling with many different issues; alcohol, drugs, anxiety, anger, cheating, lying, depression and the list goes on and on. These are not the actual problem but rather the symptoms or coping strategies of the core belief of not good enough, not important, not valued. The success rate for various alcohol programs is very low and sadly, this is true for many programs that focus on a variety of different areas. These programs may provide a short sense of relief but often the issue returns. This is because these issues are actually feeding the core belief and supporting it. It is only when the core belief is changed that these unhealthy coping strategies will change for the long term.
We need to stop looking at the symptom and trying to change the symptom. We need to look deeper and see the core belief that is creating the symptom. The focus needs to be on changing this core belief in order to see any long term change.
If a person’s core belief is “not good enough, not important, not valued” and she may use alcohol to cope with this core belief. Alcohol gives her a brief break from all the chaos in her life, lets her forget about her core belief for a couple hours, numbs emotions so she doesn’t have to deal with how she is feeling. Alcohol gives her a break from all the hurt and pain that is going on in her life. But alcohol doesn’t solve the problem. Taking away the alcohol doesn’t get rid of the hurt and pain. Alcohol gives her a brief break from all the chaos but also ends up supporting the core belief. After drinking, when she is sober, she may regret all the money she spent, the things she said or did and her body may be hung over and she may feel like garbage. This ends up reinforcing the core belief of “not good enough, not important, not valued.” Alcohol is not the problem, it is the symptom of something else, it is a reflection of her core belief and supports her core belief.
If by chance, she does stop drinking but doesn’t challenge and change her core belief, the chances are high that alcohol will be replaced by another unhealthy coping strategy. Often people who stop drinking alcohol will turn to anger, gambling or control. These too are unhealthy coping strategies and continue to reinforce the core belief of “not good enough, not important, not valued.”
In order for there to be long term change in coping strategies a person must work on changing her core belief. Once the core belief changes from “not good enough, not important, not valued” to “good enough, important, valued,” then the unhealthy coping strategies will also change for the long term. We are constantly trying to prove to ourselves that what we believe about ourselves is true, so if the core belief doesn’t change the coping strategies will continue to be unhealthy.