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Epictetus, a philosopher from around 2000 years ago is often quoted as saying,

“People are disturbed not by events, but by the views which they take of them.”

Psychological theorists Alfred Alder and later Albert Ellis and also Aaron Beck acknowledge the fundamental principal that how we feel and how we behave originates from our thoughts and beliefs. In other words it is not events, situations or encounters that make us feel a certain way, rather it is our thoughts and beliefs about them that determines how we feel and how we act.


“People and things do not upset us, rather we upset ourselves by believing that they can upset us,” Albert Ellis.

This is not to deny that events, situations and encounters can impact upon us because they can, and there can be eg grief  which is an adaption processes to change and loss, however it is an essential key to understand the role of one’s beliefs and thoughts and then the underpinning core energies or motivating forces.


It is not just our conscious thoughts and beliefs, it is all of our subconscious beliefs also which is by far the greater of the two. We function from the subconscious all of the time in everyday life, yet often do not consciously know what this hidden programming is.

We form our beliefs about ourselves and the world from in the womb and especially up until about the age of seven and ongoing. While the human physical body is growing the primary data base of the mind, both conscious and subconscious is developing complete with frameworks, categories and topics from what is role modelled to us and what we experience. Dr Jeffrey Young defines cognitive frameworks or schemas as “broad pervasive themes or patterns regarding oneself and one’s relationship with others, developed during childhood and elaborated throughout one’s lifetime.” If finding repeating patterns occurring in your life or the very things you consciously desire seem to be sabotaged, then the chances are there is a subconscious pattern running.

5. MWAlfred Alder was one of the first modern theorists to propose that we are not a victim of our personally or cognitive programming and acknowledged that we have the capacity to create change.To create this change requires a change in our thinking about what we believe about ourselves and the world.

Even though there is interplay between our beliefs, feelings and behaviours e.g. how one feels in response to an event can reinforce positively or negatively what one believes about it, beliefs are causative.  The incredible thing is that we all have the capacity and power to change our thoughts and beliefs and in turn create change in our life.

             “We are what we believe we are,” C.S. Lewis.



For more information or to make an appointment contact Kate at Jesmry CounsellingPh: 02 60431232 Mobile: 0410046148   Email: kate@jesmry.com.au