We have all heard that positive affirmations or thinking positive is the way to happiness.
But have you ever felt like you wanted to choke someone when they said, "All you have to do is think positive"...? (Of course you have, you are in therapy, you can admit it!) Affirmations and thinking positively are good ideas, and they do help, but most of our painful emotions come from our limbic system, our emotional brain, not our frontal lobes. Our emotional brain creates the problematic thoughts, so often just "correcting" our thoughts is not enough. That is where strategies like mindfulness and some of the deeper elements of Dialectical Behavior Therapy come in handy. They work more on the emotional part of our brain. Here is an article that shows that DBT is much more effective than typical therapy (which is based on changing thoughts) on treating suicidality and self harm: DBT Appears Effective in Treating Suicidality, Self-Harm in Adolescents, Study Shows