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If You Are Grateful, You Are Not Fearful

Spirituality Blessings Rock
My best friend, Mary and I have decided that the feeling of gratitude is our favorite feeling. When I feel grateful, I am aware that I feel humble, which makes me think of Grace. And Grace is beyond words. So I won't even try.


I appreciated the quote from the TED Talk speaker, David Steindl-Rast, "If you are grateful, you are not fearful." I totally get that. In fact, I realize that random acts of kindness are gratitude... expressed. Expressing gratitude is usually thought to be expressed with a verbal, "thank you," or some expression using words - which is a fine and good thing.  I think acts of kindness are my behavioral expressions of gratitude.


When I was writing my workshop presentation about how to use Mindful Self-Compassion to Reduce Test Anxiety, Worried Male Test Taker it seemed intuitively wise to suggest that the test anxious student plan to perform a random act of kindness on the day of the test, preferably before the test. I was aware that the state of anxiety is a very self centered space to be in, that energy is contracted, assuming a posture of self-protection and defensiveness.


It seemed to me that that is probably not the best energetic space for peak mental performance - fear based self-protection. So, I wanted the student to behave in a way that tells the brain that the heart chakra is open, that we feel safe enough to come out of ourselves and give to another.


Now, what is coming into focus for me is that this act of kindness is really an expression of gratitude - even unconsciously - and "if you are grateful, you are not fearful." Hence, your test anxiety might just get the memo that the body/mind - the "self" is in a state of gratitude, and therefore, cannot possibly be anxious. Remember, "love is letting go of fear." We are in a state of either love - or fear - at any given moment.



May I accept things as they are.

May I be free from suffering and the cause of suffering.

May I have ease of well-being.

May I be protected and safe.

May I be happy.


Mindful Self-Compassion

This is why I think Self-Compassion is the perfect antidote for fear or any kind of performance anxiety. Love yourself through your fear. You can't be in both states at the same time. Pick love. And then take the test. Take the test with an attitude of love for yourself, and even love for the test. Say Metta for the test. "May the test accept things as they are. May the test be free of suffering and the cause of suffering..." Re-frame the adversarial attitude toward the test. Befriend the enemy and lo, there are only friends in your midst.


BandAidThe same principle applies when I say, "What is learned at an emotional level cannot be unlearned at a cognitive level." You can't just throw flowery affirmations at a deeply wounded soul and expect it to just bounce back as if it was all just an unfortunate misunderstanding. Only love, ie, Self-Compassion can soften, in time, the hard crusted scars of the wounded child in each of us. You only insult the pain further by presuming to "positively affirm" it away.


Don't try to not feel your emotional pain. Don't deny it. Don't minimize it. Don't try to rationalize it away. Don't effort it away. Tether yourself to the promise of the healing power of love. Accept your memories and your pain. Bring mindfulness to the experience of your pain. Then extend the loving-kindness of our vast universe toward yourself. Bring love on a velvet pillow and offer it to your pain. Inhale that love and then exhale the breath that has been trapped in your pain body for so many years. Stay with that visualization. Inhale ... Exhale ...  Repeat. Then take a nap, because you might be a bit exhausted.

Ocean Evening

I think I just invented MBSCT - Mindfulness Based Self-Compassion Therapy. Move over, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Move over, even Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy. It's not about cognitions. It's about love - self-love, self-compassion. And then it's about having the courage to accept that healing, to give yourself permission to let go of the old pain, the old identity of being a broken person. And turn toward your future, casting off the trappings of the former victim and claiming the freedoms of the new self. Cool, huh?

Let me know what you think. Are we on to something here?


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Announcing Mary Roush's Book! "The First Eighty Years Are the Hardest: Feeling, Dealing, Healing"

As many of you know, I have been working during the last eight months on getting my mother's life Mom on Couch in GV Livng Roomstory manuscript published. She finished it about two weeks before her unexpected death in August, 2012. Well, I am thrilled to report that it is now available on Amazon! You can purchase it by clicking on the link over there to your right.

In case you don't know, this is an inspiring story of a woman who lived to be 81 years old; 44 of those years were spent in AA recovery and helping hundreds of sponsees from Philadelphia, St. Louis, Denver, and finally, Green Valley, AZ. My mother's story begins with the drowning death of her father when she was only five years old. It goes on to include her difficult childhood, marrying her husband, Skip (61 years), bringing up six children and then her descent into and out of alcoholism. She went on to become a therapist in private practice while living in Denver, CO. She conducted numerous weekend recovery retreats for spouses and adult children of alcoholics.

The book includes her move to Green Valley, AZ and the difficult years caring for my sister, Karen, who eventually died in August, 2005. My mother then endured a botched hip replacement surgery, three years of chronic pain, and then bladder cancer. I am happy to assure you that her last 18 months were pain free and filled with joyous volunteer work and remaining active in the local AA community. My dad, Skip Roush (86), continues to live in Green Valley at a beautiful retirement community, La Posada. He has decided to use proceeds from the sale of my mother's book to assist women in recovery. 

I am also announcing the launch of a blog/website that I am still in the process of building in order to celebrate the life and work of Mary Roush. You can reach it by clicking here It includes several of my mother's self-reflection papers written while she was working on her Master's degree. I have included a listing and link to some of her favorite books. The site will contain many more photos that she selected but could not be included in the book because of space restrictions. I will be transcribing more of Mary's writings about codependency, family therapy, and women's issues.

I hope you will consider purchasing my mom's book and I would particularly appreciate your help in spreading the word about its' availability now. Perhaps you could post it on your Facebook page or send a note to people on your email Contact list. Thanks so much for joining me in celebrating the life of this wonderful woman!

Joy Word in Stone

Emotional First Aid: How to Keep it Together When You Are Falling Apart

Depression Woman with Kleenex
Have you ever noticed how Life sometimes delivers a "lightning round" of challenges, one right after the other? It is possible to spiral to a level of emotional "tilt" where it seems like every aspect of your life is falling apart. You can get to such a crisis point that you don't even have the presence of mind to stop and know where to start. Paralysis may set in and all you can do is sit on the couch with a frozen stare of overwhelm. Days become nights filled with depression, apathy, anxiety, isolation, and confusion.

Here is a suggested place to start when you feel like you have enough composure to start to put one foot in front of the other.

1) Get help. You need and deserve some help. Confide in a friend; talk with a therapist. Just share what is going on for you. You don't have to be "fixed;" it can be a comfort to share the weight of your burden with another human being.

2) Narrow your focus down to just today.  Do only what is in front of you. Simplify. Stop replaying yesterday and stop practicing tomorrow. Manage your life one hour at a time, one day at a time. Chunk your life down into manageable bits. "What am I in control of? What am I not in control of?" Simplify. Breathe... You need to conserve what little energy you have left and use it for yourself.

3) Be gentle and nurturing toward yourself. If your best friend was going through this, how would you support her? Support yourself this way. Breathe in to a count of three; breathe out to a count of five. Do this four times a day. Buy yourself flowers.

4) Eat nutritious food, drink plenty of water, try to move your body even if it's just to go for a walk and get at least 15 minutes of sun exposure every day. You need the Vitamin D from the sun.

5) Remember that this kind of crisis warps your sense of time. You will fear that you will never come through the other end of this. You will. "This, too, shall pass." Don't quit before your miracle. Get back into today. Now. This minute. Breathe...

6) If you have any kind of spiritual belief system, get back to it. Read an inspirational book, something that will put you back into "the big picture" of Life and the Universe. Pray, meditate, light a candle, journal about it. Write every worry down onto a piece of paper, fold it and put it in your "Let Go, Let God" bag. If you are agnostic or atheist, do it anyway and call the bag something else. The act of writing it all down on separate small pieces of paper helps to organize, and it imposes some appropriate perspective to what feels like a huge brown overwhelming cloud. It helps you to feel bigger than your problems.

7) Do a mental or written gratitude list. I know you might be mad and you don't feel like being grateful. Do it anyway. Just look around for a minute and recognize a few small or large things you are grateful for. Related to this, perform some act of kindness today, preferably for a stranger and do it anonymously if you can.

8) It is OK to withdraw; just don't isolate. You can go within, be quiet and be alone. It is a common response to want to contract and pull inward. The fetal position under the covers can be comforting. Just be sure you come out and bathe, eat, drink water and do your life whenever you can.

These occasional periods of "too much" are a normal part of Life for those of us who are showing up to do our lives. Get some support. This is why friendships are made. Every now and then, we need to actually call in and enlist the benefits of the friendships we have built. They are not there just for movie companionship.

I would love to hear from you about how you have navigated troubled waters in the past. Please share your tools for getting through the hard times.

Candle Close Up With Blue Green Background


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Recovering Catholics: A Success Story

Catholic Rosary on Bible

It was the summer of 1989 and I was conducting a weekend retreat workshop for Adult Children of Alcoholics at the Dominican Retreat Center in Albuquerque, NM. As the participants were checking in on Friday afternoon, I struck up an animated conversation with Sister Margaret Mary. Her pronounced east coast accent caught my ear as I tried to distinguish, was that Baltimore or Philadelphia? Indeed, she was a Catholic nun from Philadelphia, so we just had to compare notes about our lives there in the 1960s.

I had attended Catholic grade school from 3rd to 7th grade in Swedesburg, PA, a small suburb of Philadelphia. Sister Margaret Mary had grown up in Philadelphia and was several years older than me, so she was familiar with the Catholic school culture that I described.

I wanted to share with her all of my funny stories about the nuns, the ancient and kind parish priest, masses conducted in Latin, Polish, and English, memorizing the questions and answers in the Baltimore Catechism book, corporal punishment, May Processions, mid-morning snacks of soft pretzels and milk, $1.25 due every Monday morning to pay for the five 25 cent lunches per week, jumping rope every day at recess because we were not allowed to run on the asphalt playground, and making up sins for confession that weren't so serious as to warrant much more than the standard penance of three Our Fathers, four Hail Marys and one Glory Be thrown in for good measure.

Catholic Virgin Mary

Sister Margaret Mary laughed knowingly as she smiled with recognition at our many commonalities. It felt so good to find a kindred spirit. That is what we were to each other. Through the years, whenever I would meet someone new at a party or social event and find out that they, too, had attended Catholic grade school, there was an instant and mutual connection - particularly if we were of about the same age, and attended school before the rumored reforms of the 1980s. We would immediately sit together, knee to knee, and excitedly compare war stories. Yes, there were funny stories. And, as I was beginning to realize with Sister Margaret Mary, there was a dimension of "impromptu support group" to those kindred spirit connections.

Later that night, as I laid in bed recalling my conversation with Sister, I was barely able to recognize that there was a bitter tinge to the "funny" stories I was sharing.  I realized, to my innocent surprise, that there was an angry edge to the telling of some of my Catholic school experiences. I got quiet with myself and looked deeper inside and sure enough, I found anger there. And that anger was tangled up in hurt. There was in me a composite 10 year old little girl who was full of sadness and having a harder and harder time denying her forbidden anger.  Kris in 3rd Grade
Off and on throughout the next day, while conducting my workshop, I realized that this hurt and anger was real and that I needed to address it. I knew that I didn't want that resentment any more.

Sister Margaret Mary was busy running the conference center. I found Sister Janie. Sister Janie was a young noviciate - a nun in training, if you will. She was kind and helpful and I just knew she would understand. During a break, I explained what I was realizing and asked if she might be available to meet with me on Sunday afternoon after the workshop was over. I believed her when she said she was happy to help me in any way.

We met at the appointed time and we walked out into the hot arid desert to find a shaded bench. I told her that I wanted to inventory every single Catholic resentment that I had been carrying all these years. I didn't want this toxic anger any more. She listened. I talked. And talked. And talked.

  • the time Sister Camilla hit me over the head with the hard bound Geography book
  • the time Sister Gabriel stood me in front of the class as an example of a ratty school uniform because the tear in the front had only been patched from underneath... I was humiliated...
  • the many times the nuns said that the Roush girls would go to hell if their parents pulled them out of Catholic school and enrolled them in the public school
  • being told to never "touch yourself in an impure place;" the human body was dirty
  • being told weekly stories of children who had sinned during the day and then died in their sleep that very same night
  • being called "white trash" and my very tanned best friend, Joey being called "black monkey" by the nuns... I didn't understand what "white trash" meant until I got to high school years later
  • being made to memorize the meaningless answers to the Baltimore Catechism book questions
  • no exposure to the Bible, just my Catholic Missal
  • the incessant warnings about God's wrath and eternal punishment in a burning hell
  • the constant implied teachings that I was bad to the core and had to be diligent on a daily basis to resist my sinful nature
  • and perhaps most painful, finding out in high school, through Young Life (a Christian outreach for high schoolers) that God really did know me and love me all along and that my Catholic school had brainwashed me into self hatred and a terrified fear of a vengeful God.                              Catholic Nun

This and much more poured out of me and I will be forever grateful to Sister Janie. Through my tears, I could see her face. Her look of anguish as she slowly shook her head in sorrow, healed my pain. She didn't speak words. She spoke heartfelt compassion with her face. She believed me. She never defensively tried to explain away or excuse the nuns, the church, the doctrine, none of it. And after it had all come out, my pain, the betrayal, the lies, my resentments about it all.... when there was nothing left to say... I dared to ask.

I don't know where it came from. I was just as surprised to hear it myself. A small and tentative voice inside of me asked Sister Janie, "I don't know if I can ask this or not, but,... could you apologize to me on behalf of the Catholic Church?" I couldn't believe the selfish audacity of my request. Before I could recover from the shock of my own question, Sister Janie quickly answered, "Of course! I am so sorry all of that happened to you. It did happen; I have heard similar stories from other people. I am so sorry and  as an official representative of the Catholic Church, I do apologize to you and I ask for your forgiveness." Well, I burst into tears again as we held each other and sat on that bench together, - two women who had only met the day before.  Finally.  God was good.

I told Sister Janie of my intention to leave it all there, there in the South Valley desert. I had released all that anger and would not pick it up again. And now, I can honestly say that when I tell my Catholic school stories, that tinge of anger is gone. I smile a little smile for Sister Margaret Mary and for Sister Janie, and yes, even for Sister Camilla and Sister Gabriel and all those misdirected and wounded nuns who are indeed now, my sisters.

You know, I share this story as one example of how to recognize, address, and release toxic emotions that might have been living just beneath the surface for many years. It is important to know, though, that forgiveness is not an event; it is a process. I started a process that day. I did not snap my fingers and see that it was all gone. I declared an intention that day, which I followed up with conscious choices to not pick it up again in the form of re-living and ruminating. I disallowed myself the luxury of basking in my hurt and indignation. That is the only way to truly move on into the future, unencumbered by past baggage. One of these days, I will get back to work on the book I am writing about this very process. Until then, I hope you will share with me your experiences with letting go of old hurts and then enjoying the freedom of their release.


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The Tetris Effect: Two Simple Steps to Train Your Brain for Happiness

Tetris Video Game
'Remember the video game, Tetris?  It is a relatively simple game in which falling sets of four squares drop to the bottom of the screen, and the player must rotate and move them so that they fit into the available matching spaces. Apparently, people get addicted to this game, playing for hours at a time. I wouldn't know. My video gaming experience began and ended with Pong.


After playing Tetris for awhile, many people report thinking about ways that different shapes fit into matching spaces in the real world, like cereal boxes on a shelf at the grocery store. They start "seeing" these four-square shapes in everyday objects and then naturally search for a place where they will "fit."  Tetris Pieces Falling
This after-imaging can occur after just about any prolonged visual task like weeding, playing chess, performing math calculations, or looking at slides under a microscope. Later, when people close their eyes, they often see the object of the prolonged task. This automatic and intrusive image seems to insert itself as the brain's way of saying, "Hey, this must be important since you spent so much time on it, so here it is for you again."

An Oxford study (Holmes, E., et al, 2009) found that when victims played Tetris shortly after experiencing their traumatic event, the frequency, intensity, and accuracy of traumatic memories were decreased. The preoccupation with the Tetris shapes interfered with traumatic memory encoding. How fascinating is that?

I remember an experience I had which I now recognize as The Tetris Effect. I starting being on the lookout around town for cardboard boxes because I was going to be moving soon.  Cardboard Boxes
For several days,  I drove around noticing dumpsters, loading areas behind liquor stores, trash cans set out by the curb, anywhere I might find discarded cardboard boxes. I picked them up and eventually had enough. My task was completed. Well, apparently, my brain didn't get the memo, because I continued to compulsively look for boxes even though I didn't need them anymore. It took a few days to convince my brain that that mental activity was no longer needed and it was eventually extinguished.

Happy Face in Sand

What Does This Have to Do With Happiness?

If The Tetris Effect is a phenomenon that occurs naturally, why not use it intentionally for a desired outcome? Try this popular technique. At the end of every day, for the next 30 days, jot down two short lists. Write a list of three things that you are grateful for and write a list of three good things that happened to you that day. That's it. You will find, well before the 30 days are up, that you will start 1) noticing and 2) actively looking for things that you are grateful for and good things that happen to you. Gratitude and the natural awareness of positive events will become second nature to you. You will not only recognize positive events; you will start to actively interpret neutral events as positive. Tetris will be everywhere!  Your brain will learn, "Hey, this gratitude/happiness event must be important since you spent so much time on it, so here it is for you again."

I gave the Two-List assignment to one of my Psychology classes as an extra credit opportunity. Just to get you started and with their permission, here a few items that they listed.

Spirituality Blessings Rock

Three Things That I Am Grateful For

  • That I didn't give up on going back to college after a 38 year absence.
  • I have a roof over my head.
  • I got thrown in jail for being a nuisance, which changed my life for the better.
  • I am grateful for being here in America and getting a better education.
  • The calm after the storm. Today was that day - the day that comes after the really awful day, so I am grateful for the peace that is restored when you have nowhere to go but up.
  • I am grateful for Louis Daguerre, who invented the first photographic device! Without him, there would be no camera and I would not be able to express myself through photography.
  • Finally learning that making good choices and doing nice things for others makes me a much happier person.
  • I can smell the recent rain on the still warm asphalt.
  • That God's plan was very different from mine; and it was a a better plan.
  • I am grateful for Habitat for Humanity who built my family and me a beautiful house.

Three Good Things That Happened To Me

  • My English teacher asked to use another assignment of mine as an example for future classes. That just never gets old!
  • I got a warning instead of a speeding ticket.
  • I found $5.00 in my dirty clothes.
  • There was finally some progress in the bureaucratic BS of getting financial aid.
  • I worked on my old car with my dad.
  • My new landlord finished painting our linen closet.
  • I received some useful advice for encouraging a better relationship with my son.

Notice that happiness can be found in the most unexpected places - your dirty laundry! And gratitude can be expressed for the simplest of things that we normally take for granted - your sense of smell! So start training that brain of yours to be more aware of the lovely things in life, and to be not so sensitive to every little bump in the road. I would bet that if we could train our brains this way, more four square pieces will start naturally falling into their rightful places in our lives, and the delight of synchronicity will become the norm.

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"Being Driven" or "Having Drive:" Are You Being Taken for a Ride?

Overwhelmed Woman Behind Stack of 3 Ring Binders

The Difference Between "Being Driven" and "Having Drive"

I am sure you have heard the enthusiastic compliment, "Oh, yes, she is really driven to succeed!" to describe that up and coming employee scrambling up the corporate ladder. We admire and trust the person who works hard to accomplish goals. Perseverence is an admirable trait and it is essential for success. Who could argue with the person who reaches for the stars and then follows through with passion and tenacity? No one. Although, their behavior does look suspiciously like that of the movers and shakers in the world, but we will forgive them for that. Sorry, I just couldn't resist.    :)

My concern is that sometimes, that drive to succeed is not a choice. It can be a compulsion - a compulsion that is fueled by inadequacy. In this case, these people are indeed, compulsively driven by a fear of being inadequate, or a fear of being exposed as a fraud, sometimes called the Imposter Syndrome. They are distinguished from people who are truly secure and self-confident, who simply enjoy "the thrill of the hunt," and the satisfaction of achieving a grand goal. For these people, self worth is not what is on the line. Failure to achieve the goal is a disappointment and only serves as a challenge to assess the difficulties, make some changes, and do better next time. For people who are driven to achieve by some nameless fear pushing them from behind, failure is experienced as a direct assault upon their core value as human beings. It is devastating and only serves to further entrench them in their compulsive need to prove their value through more accomplishment.

Overwhelmed Woman With Sticky Notes

When Choice Gets Thrown Out the Window, We Call That Addiction

When a person chooses to drink alcohol, we call that person a social drinker. When a person chooses to drink way too much alcohol, we call that person a social drinker who is making a bad choice, but it is still a choice, nonetheless.  When a person chooses to have one drink, but then that drink compels the person to have many, many more, we call that a compulsion to drink, which is addiction.

"First, the man takes a drink.

Then the drink takes a drink.

         Then the drink takes the man."        

                                                                  Chinese Proverb

Just as people can become addicted to alcohol, they can also become addicted to achievement. It is fine to be blessed with the personality trait of being ambitious. However, when that desirable personality trait turns into addiction because it is now fueled by inadequacy, the choice, the joy, the expansiveness of accomplishment is now deadened and no amount of success will be enough to fill that hole in the soul. What is also challenging about this situation is that it can be difficult to tell the difference between the person who is acting from choice and the person who is acting from compulsion. From afar, their behaviors are virtually identical. A closer inspection, though, reveals a distinct difference between their emotional states such as spontaneity, resilience level, optimism, patience, and off-the-clock happiness.

Road Sign Dead End

So Sorry About This Schmaltzy Analogy....            

So, who is in your driver's seat? Are you driving your car from a place of joyful choice? Or has your inadequacy taken over the steering wheel and started driving you erratically into desperate attempts to prove your worth? Do you have drive or are you being driven? Take a quiet and honest look inside yourself and ask, "What is my motivation?"  How would I feel, who would I be if I didn't accomplish these goals?

If you think you recognize yourself as "being driven"  by inadequacy, then this would be a good time for more psychospiritual reflection and some attention given to improving your self worth.  If you keep trying to fill the hole in your soul with mere accomplishment, your satisfaction will be shallow and temporary, and pretty soon you will be singing along with Peggy Lee, "Is That All There Is?" (OK, so you have to be over 50 to get that; the rest of you just go Google it).

This whole "What is my motivation?" question is what underlies identifying codependency. I will be writing a new post about that in the near future, so watch for that one.  In the meantime, I'd love to hear what you think about this "being driven/having drive" distinction. Please leave a comment with your input! Thanks!

Car with Man Driving


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"Guilt or Resentment: Hmm... Which Shall I Choose Today?"

Road Signs No Right Turn and No Left Turn

Do you ever feel like you are caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place? Someone has just asked you for a favor and on this particular day, you want to say "no."

"Can you watch the kids for me this Saturday night?" 

You really don't want to. You like this person alot and you think it is a reasonable request. It doesn't matter what your reasons are; they are legitimate and you just don't want to say "yes" today. But, if you say "no," you will feel guilty. And, on the other hand, if you say "yes," you will feel resentment. You can't win. Guilt or resentment are your only options. I remember a client who once lamented, "Geez, I have to pick between those two every day!" So, what do you do?

Pick guilt. Seriously. I know it would be better if you could make a choice and not feel either of these. But you are not quite that evolved yet (keep reading this Blog; you will get there!), and you are realistically going to have to choose between these two unpleasant and frustrating feelings. Pick the answer that leaves you feeling guilty rather than resentful. In this case, say "no." Then swallow hard and resist the temptation to fill the awkward space with all kinds of real or contrived excuses that will legitimize you and your "no" answer.

Why? Because it is easier after the fact to deal with your guilt and let go of it than it is to deal with your resentment and let go of it. Guilt is a burden. But resentment is a bigger burden. You can deal with both of them and eventually let go of them (stay tuned; we will be covering how to do that in later posts). It is just that resentment is more insidious and difficult to untangle. A good talk with a good friend can reassure you and often help you let go of your guilt. A good talk with a good friend does not do much to help you release the resentment you have been carrying around.

So, go call a friend and ask him to remind you that you have a right to say "no" and that you are still a good and kind person.  You have a right to take care of your needs, and that means that you will sometimes have to say "no" to others, even though it is hard to do.

Oh, and by the way, can you watch the kids for me this Saturday night?

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Free Therapy: I'll Take the Pain I Know Over the Cure I Don't Know

Sometimes, while I am teaching my Psychology classes, I get off on a tangent and my Therapy Couch
students call it "free therapy." Hence, the title of this Category and Post.  I thought I might occasionally share with you what we talk about in class.



"We tend to prefer the familiar negative over the unfamiliar positive."

Nobody taught us this in graduate school - unless maybe I was absent that day. I doubt it. Everyone knows that people tend to resist change. I get that. It wasn't until I made this observation in such a succint way that I realized this might inform part of the reason for why people resist change. Anthony de Mello, in his book, Awareness (see my list of recommended books), says that it is not so much our fear of the unknown as it is our fear of the loss of the known.

When a client initiates therapy because she is depressed and wants to be not depressed or is socially shy and wants to be socially confident, there is a part of her that doesn't want to be happy and doesn't want to have self-confidence. The thing is, it was the 5% conscious part of her who felt some degree of emotional distress, made the therapy apppointment and showed up. But it was the 95% unconscious part of her who will manage to lose motivation after three or four sessions.  The 5% wanted change. The 95% just wanted relief.

This push/pull is an exasperating part

Continue reading "Free Therapy: I'll Take the Pain I Know Over the Cure I Don't Know" »