This exercise is designed to help you to identify your beliefs, mistaken or otherwise. It can be helpful if youíre feeling really guilty or miserable because it can help to identify what the feelings are actually about and where they might come from. Please try to undertake this exercise when you are feeling your best.

1. The first thing I would like you to do is to sit quietly and write down ten memories on ten sheets/sides of paper. Write the list without dwelling on the memories at the moment.

2. What is the first memory you ever had? Try to get in touch with the feelings this memory gives you and identify, if you can, what the predominant feeling is and also what the underneath feelings are.

3. Now think through each memory slowly and do the same as you did with the first memory, jotting down the feelings you experienced at the time. If itís helpful, make two subheadings - Ďwhat I felt thení and Ďhow does it make me feel now when I re-experience ití. Are the feelings the same or different? Take your time, this may be difficult and could take a few days.

If there are any memories where you feel miserable or baffled and the memory and the feelings donít match up - for example, if you can remember sitting in a pram in a nice place and your predominant memory is of feeling safe and loved but you also feel worried and anxious when you think about the memory, this is one to take note of. Only you can work these memories out and what they mean. If you ask your subconscious to present you with information, it can often be very obliging and hide something that you arenít ready to face yet or it might give you something on a plate because you need to work on it. Itís up to you what you do with that plate of information, you can scrape it into the waste bin or you can explore it to see whatís there.

4. Look for the mistaken beliefs in particular i.e.

I donít count / itís all my fault / thatís not what really happened /I mustnít show that Iím angry / I need to be fat / no-one loves me when I say what I need / thereís no way out of this / hurt others first before they get me /feelings are unsafe/ perhaps Iím so awful that no-one will want me/ I must pretend

5. When youíve identified the feelings behind each memory, write them down on a separate piece of paper. Also write down where they mismatch.

6. Think long and hard and identify whether these feelings or the consequence of you carrying these feelings have an impact on your life today. In particular, try to identify a pattern or beliefs that come up time and time again.

7. Finally, taking your time, because this is a complex and painful exercise, try to turn the feelings around and challenge the mistaken beliefs. You were a child when you felt these things and now you have your adult self to help you challenge them i.e.

Actually, I DO count/ why is it my fault /what did actually happen and why was I told lies / what am I afraid will happen to me if I get angry /am I protecting myself with my fat /why shouldnít I say what I need / there is a way out and I will find it / why do I need to hurt others first - what is that about/ feelings are only unsafe if I hide them from myself / what happened to make me believe people wonít want me / what do I fear will happen if I donít pretend

8. If this works for you, you will find that your beliefs can change and that other people will start to relate to you in a different way.