Distinguishing the past from the present

Life-lenses develop from emotionally significant events in childhood, and they make sense when viewed in conjunction with those events. Your world has no doubt changed a great deal over the years, but you probably still look through many of the same old lenses. And those lenses don't give you a clear vision of present-day reality.

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As you can see in Worksheet 7-8, Hannah developed the life-lens of perfectionistic. As a kid, she was harshly criticized when she wasn't perfect, so the lens helped her avoid some of that criticism. The lens was a healthy adaptation to her life at the time. But today, as an adult, her perfectionistic life-lens causes her anxiety, stress, and even depression when she fails. Furthermore, no one in her life is nearly as critical as her father was. So she doesn't need to be perfect to avoid harsh criticism today. Her perfectionistic lens distorts her vision. Hannah completes the Then and Now Exercise in Worksheet 7-12 in order to help her understand how her past experiences cause her to overreact to current triggers. Seeing this connection will help her change her life-lens.

Worksheet 7-12

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