Career Break: How to Challenge Negative Thoughts


Brendan M Bellavia, Graduate Assistant with the Career Center for Career Wellness. PN Photo/ Anais Hernandez Castilla

By: Anais Hernandez Castilla, Campus/Local News Editor

The Career Break series was created by the Career Center to help students in a variety of ways.

Students have to face their own anxiety that may affect them in their search for their dream jobs or careers.

Brendan M. Bellavia is a Graduate student, who works at the Career Center.

He is currently studying in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, specializing in anxiety and career development.

Special guest Alaina Kidwell, who is a temporary counselor at Counseling and Psychological Services, made an appearance.

Bellavia and Kidwell did the Career Break as a way to challenge students, to overcome their negative thoughts anxious thinking when looking for work.

She has graduated from the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at UNCP. CAPS provides individual and group therapy, meditation and more.

Most of Kidwell’s time is spent on a one-on-one basis with students on campus.

Bellavia is more involved in student’s career aspects. Bellavia started at the Career Wellness Center this semester.

“Students can make an appointment with him to talk about any problems they may foresee in their upcoming careers as they graduate and go on to the next phase in their life,” Kidwell said.

Bellavia’s career wellness appointments will ask a variety of questions to see how students are feeling about their wellness.

Bellavia said there is a variety of ways in which we process our thoughts and how those thoughts affect our actions through the cognitive model.

The model indicates that thoughts are very powerful and that the brain constantly use thoughts to make interpretations of situations we may face.

A variety of interpretations we may see can either be irrational or automatic.

The idea is that people will perceive the situation at first hand through their emotions.

In the case that the emotion will possibly be portrayed as an action, which could improve the success of the task or flounder the task at hand.

With emotions in mind, people could respond with their emotions through a variety of behaviors based on set emotions.

These types of behaviors can be transfer through body languages, such as hand gestures, eye contact or lack of it, sweating and many other forms.

The model focuses on core beliefs. These are beliefs that we hold at the center of who we are and that describe the nature of the world.

Core beliefs are developed through someone’s own unique personal experiences. It is very important for students to constantly monitor them because those core beliefs may not be a good predictor of what may occur.

“Even though these core beliefs are important it is not always accurate because we can confuse what we want to believe or do by convincing ourselves we must follow our parents,” Bellavia said.

Students should not become a follower and instead become a leader. They should focus on what they can do for themselves in a optimistic way.

Bellavia also shared his personal story that led him to change career paths. He learned that what would work for others may not work for him.

“My father worked a nine to five job and made pretty good money and therefore followed in his footsteps, but I was not happy. I came to the realization that what worked for him is not what I crave at all. I want to help others beyond a desk,” Bellavia said.

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