Trying To ‘Get Over It’? How To Fix Negative Associations

Is there a memory in your life you feel affects your current life and you can’t ‘get over it’? Maybe it was a childhood event that traumatized you and it still hinders your daily life? Even if it was out of your control and you weren’t in a position of power at the time, do you sometimes wonder if you went back in time, you could change it somehow?

Even if your childhood memories are not particularly bad or eventful, are you currently in a situation that you feel completely powerless in or that you have no control over some aspect of life? Do you keep on going over it again and again in your mind, thinking about how bad it is but aren’t sure what to do? Or are you just feeling stuck and want to change your current situation?

While change is inevitable and bad things happen all the time to both good and bad people, the quality of your thoughts WILL effect your current situations, regardless of when or where it happened.

For anyone who is suffering from previous trauma (like during childhood), I will talk about two different techniques used to overcome your negative associations. Please note that these two therapies may not work in some cases like rape or victims of physical violence.

Immersion therapy is the best therapy for someone who has a phobia of some sort. This is also a good treatment to overcome any kind of fears. I included this therapy in my list because it is very common for people with strong fears or phobias to miss out on something.

For example, a fear or phobia of flying might hinder you from traveling to places you may otherwise want to go to but can’t because of their debilitating reaction to flying.

In this therapy, the person is given steps to overcome their fear or phobia. In my example, the first step might be looking at a picture of a plane. They are then taken through a relaxation session. The next step might be going to the airport. A new series of relaxation techniques are used. The stages are continued until they are able to successfully able to fly from one destination to another.

Desensitization therapy is a good therapy for anyone wanting to overcome something in stages through a less intense treatment. This is also a great treatment for those that are also suffering from phobias and other problems.

Desensitization is described as: ‘occurring when an emotional response is repeatedly evoked in situations in which the action tendency that is associated with the emotion proves irrelevant or unnecessary.’*

What’s great about desensitization is that anyone can do this. They can start out with the help of a therapist to give them the tools they need and then developing the skills to do it on their own so that the negative thoughts reoccur less and less.

Even being able to talk about the problem to friends, family and loved ones about the problem helps. Simply put, when it is talked about more and more, the less pain one feels in the long run. It is similar to the idea of being desensitized by watching violence on TV, as desensitization of your negative associations will be a gradual process and, in most cases, effective.

The next form of therapy works well with someone currently facing some issues they feel that they can’t escape from. It could be any kind of situation- from a bad working environment to not being able to get along well with one’s family. It can also help you if you are suffering from something like overeating, smoking, or sex addictions.

NLP is short for Neural Linguistic Programming. It is commonly associated with Hypnosis and is not considered a science. This therapy shows you how your neurological (Neural) associations with speech (Linguistic) affect your daily life (programming).

In this specific therapy, the therapist is not building on a deficit model (like most therapies), where they ‘fix a problem’, but rather build upon the foundation. Basically, clients are not thought of as being broken, but as doing the best they can in their situation with what they already know. The client is often even considered an expert in their own life- as no one knows you as well as you do.

Sounds interesting, right? While the founders may not be recognizable to most people that aren’t in the psychology field, you may be familiar with Tony Robbins. He is one of the people that made this kinds of therapy common and well known. This is a good option if you want to try something a little bit different.

If you are suffering from negative thoughts or associations either from your past or present, getting a trained therapist can help you through the therapies I’ve recommended. I can also teach you how to use some of these techniques in the comfort of your own home. You don’t have to suffer from your past or current situation anymore- you can overcome it!

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