Understanding Cognitions, Automatic Thoughts and Core Beliefs

Understanding what influences our automatic thoughts will allow us to better see how these thoughts can directly affect what we believe about ourselves, our world, and the future (whether it is true or not). Getting a grapple on these concepts is key to getting a handle on our negative thoughts and help us bring more reason and realism into the picture.

This post will include simple definitions along the way to help better explain the concepts:


Are mental processes that can change our thoughts and perceptions which in turn will change our behavior/experience.

Notice, How people feel and behave is largely determined by their cognitions and changes how people structure their experience.

The cognitive triad developed by Beck proposes three types of views or perspectives, which are thoughts about the self, thoughts about the world, and thoughts about the future.

For example:

Thought about self: “I am worthless”

Thought about the world: “The world is a dangerous place”

Thought about the future: “Thing will always go wrong”


Influence the cognitive triad. They are patterns of thoughts that are organized into categories of information that influence our core beliefs

Core beliefs

Are rigid rules a person gives to themselves such as, “things will always go poorly for me”.

Note that schemas affect our core beliefs because core beliefs are influenced by the schemas we have about our world, our future, and ourselves, allowing us to truly believe and feel deeply affected by thoughts that may not even have truthful value.

Automatic Thoughts

Can be triggered in a person’s mind every day. When a person believes things about themselves such as “I will always be alone “ these thoughts will cause the person to automatically think no one likes them and automatically think negatively about their world and environment in general. This can cause a person to adapt negative thinking and see his or herself in a self-critical manner, causing them to feel unpleasant emotions and develop negative behaviors such as withdrawing or being avoidant

The key to managing our cognitions, automatic thoughts, and core beliefs is to understand that thoughts are simply just that- thoughts. We must see that just because we think something, does not necessarily mean it must be so. Calming down our mind takes practice and can be a challenge, but with consistently providing ourselves with positive affirmations, moments of quiet, mediation, and self-care we can better manage the false cognitions, stop the vicious cycle of negative thinking and return to baseline.

Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella

A New Route to Choosing a Resolution

When choosing a resolution for the new year we typically choose one to help us get better at something we do not excel in. The premise of choosing a resolution in this manner is great, but not motivating enough to withstand long-lasting results.

When we select to work on something we already do not like to do, chances are we will not stick with it and continue not growing in that area. In response, we feel even more like a failure and inadequate.

This year, and for the rest of your years, I want you to approach resolutions differently. Forget about choosing an area you lack in. Select an area you are strong in. What are you good at? Where do you show up? How can you up-level this and make this part of you even stronger in the new year?

This approach is different, positive, strength-based and more constructive. Since this area is already a strength you are more likely to stick with it because there is no feelings of shame or disappointment associated with the topic. You will not feel intimidated by growing in an area you enjoy and know the ins and outs of. You are allowing yourself to shine and giving yourself an opportunity to get creative with your strengths.

Happy new year and may you have a healthy and content year!


Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella


What is Non-Attachment?

Non-attachment means moving through life without letting things, people, or places have such a hold on you that you make wrong choices. Not letting things own you.


Benefits of Non-Attachment:

Non-attachment can completely change the way you think about yourself, others, objects, and places. The more you practice non-attachment, the easier it is to live a physically and emotionally healthy life. Here are some of the benefits of non-attachment:

• A feeling of inner peace

• Ability to make reasoned decisions

• Being less vulnerable to stressors

• Greater emotional stability

• Better relationships

• Being a better parent

• Enjoying being who you are

• Feeling more in control

• Greater life satisfaction

• Diminishing fear of loss

Think to yourself :

What Food(s) are you attached to?

What people are you attached to?

What emotion(s) are you attached to?

What situation(s) are you attached to?

What would be the benefits of not being “attached” to these things/ situations / people any longer? How would you feel with still having them in your life but not being attached to them (or the outcome of them)?


“Attachment is the source of all suffering.”

“I’m practicing non-attachment: Accepting what comes and allowing it to leave when it’s time. What’s for me will be for me effortlessly.”

“Non-attachment is an illumining and liberating force. Attachment is a binding and blinding force.”


Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella

Why So Many People are Not Merry and Bright Around the Holidays & it’s ok

Expectations, finances and sadness are high around the holidays for many and yet such a large group of people going through these emotions feel outcasted and misunderstood, making them feel more alone and disconnected. Let’s go through each aspect of turbulence that people may feel during the holidays.

Expectations: we are expected to be jolly, merry, bright and cheerful when truth be told we may hate our job, may be suffering from depression or still struggling to develop a self-love relationship with ourselves. December will not take away any struggles we have been dealing with for the other 11 months of the year and it is foolish to think otherwise. How are we expected to give so much to others at this time when we have not yet adequately discovered how to give to ourselves? Society is expecting our whole mindset to change in a snap and it is just not possible.

Finances: without being said, so much money is spent during this time, which first and foremost is bitter as it takes away from the point of the season: togetherness, love and appreciation. We chuck out big cash for emotional reward. Coming back to expectations, we spend all this money and put in so much effort to get someone a gift and we are returned with a simple” thank you” (or better yet to discover they returned it) …the emotional reward does not pair up to our mental effort, making us feel the effort was pointless and disappointing.

Sadness: accompanied by grief is common during the holidays. We reflect back on our childhood and are haunted by the fact that many of our loved ones are no longer here, making a time that was once special for us feel lonely and emotional. It may be difficult for us to appreciate the family and friends we do currently have in our life because we are a little extra focused on those who we no longer have at this time.

In case no one has told you: all these feelings and the 100 others you may be feeling right now are okay. I will repeat: these feelings you have are okay. Put a label and a name to your emotion, notice where it is rooted from. Rather than keep these thoughts to yourself, talk about these negative emotions because THAT is what will make you feel more connected to others at this time. You may assume the person on the other end will not “get” you, but you are likely to be surprised that they have similar feelings and having the conversation will draw you closer and more at peace: which is exactly what the holidays are meant to do for relationships to start with.

If you or a love one is having a difficult time around the holidays reach out to our staff today, we are honored to be apart of your journey. Psychotherapy and Counseling serving Westchester NY

Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella

You Are Not Broken


This ⭐️ this message if your reading is meant for you right now. Seriously meant for you. I wrote this many years back and so often share with my clients and every single time it’s a profound reaction, crying, smiling or both and many other powerful feelings. It’s shown to be a powerful message that so many need to hear over and over. My feeling is that so many need this message right now. This is my gift to you my friend, I see you, hold space for you, you are not broken, I believe in you my friend and always will?


Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella