When people have taken steps to give up drugs and/or alcohol or are trying to make big changes in their lives, it’s often just the beginning of a long and sometimes painful process. Of finding out who they are, what is important to them, and understanding what happened to them in the past for them to understand why their lives turned out how they have. It can sometimes be hard for a person to understand why they might have behaved in dangerous destructive ways in the past and why it can sometimes seem so hard to make positive changes and take steps forward.

In this episode we discuss the basics of what negative ‘core beliefs’ are and how these sit within the framework of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. We discuss how negative core beliefs determine how we perceive and interpret the world and how these can beliefs can hold us back. This is the first part of two podcasts devoted to looking at core beliefs – in part 2 we’ll be digging a bit deeper into how these beliefs are formed.

Listen to the podcast link using the Spotify player above or by going to our Youtube channel

The handout accompanying this podcast can be downloaded as a PDF here or viewed as a webpage here.


The noticeable thing about most Hollywood or mainstream movies is the very definition of the format – the films take the viewer on a ‘journey’ with the heroine or hero. Most films are about the main character ‘overcoming’ odds or changing their lives despite the difficulties they may face. If you think about it, a film where the heroine or hero didn’t do anything or was unable to change due to crippling core beliefs would be a either bit boring or upsetting to watch.

There are a few examples within films. The classic 1939 ‘The Wizard of Oz’ is a wonderful film full of psychological insights and hidden meanings – as discussed here:


The film focusses on Dorothy and her journey to self- knowledge. During her visit to ‘Oz’ she encounters the Cowardly Lion who believes he “hasn’t any courage at all”! Probably not too much of a spoiler alert to reveal that the cowardly lion is in fact brave, but he doubts himself.