Basic tenets of the theory
1- People want to get better and come into treatment with a plan, (unconscious at times) to do so.
2-The therapist’s task is to help their patient feel safe enough to do the work that will allow them to disconfirm their pathogenic beliefs in order to get better. This means the patient will try to ascertain (by testing) if the fears and anxieties that they have believed to be true are really still accurate. If they can sort out which ideas are false, over-generalized, or distorted then they have the potential to try to shift away from the maladaptive behaviors they had held onto in the past.
3-These pathogenic beliefs are often formed in childhood as a result of pathological relationship with others. At times they are the result of a specific trauma, but at times not.
4-Pathogenic beliefs are often the root of pathology and symptoms are often formed in response to them.
5-Patients work in therapy to sort out these issues and attempt to master the trauma they have experienced in order to gain control over their lives.