"...David K. Sherman of the University of California and Geoffrey L. Cohen at Yale University argue that the tenents of self-affirmation theory are:
People are motivated to protect the perceived integrity and worth of self.Motivations to protect self-integrity can result in defensive responses.The self-system is flexible.People can be affirmed by engaging in activities that remind them of “who they are” (and doing so reduces the implications for self-integrity of threatening events).
Much research suggests that people have a “psychological immune system” that initiates protective adaptations when an actual or impending threat is perceived Sherman and Cohen contend. Psychological adaptations to threats include the various cognitive strategies and even distortions whereby people come to construe a situation in a manner that renders it less threatening to personal worth and well-being. Many of these psychological adaptations can be thought of as defensive in nature, insofar as they alter the meaning of the event in a way that shields people from the conclusion that their beliefs or actions were misguided.
We see defensive responses as adaptations aimed at ameliorating threats to self- integrity the authors argue. The vast research on defensive biases testifies to their robustness and to the frequency with which people use them. Although these defensive responses are adaptive in the sense of protecting or enhancing an individual’s sense of self-integrity, they can be maladaptive to the extent they forestall learning from important, though threatening, experiences and information...."
"...Mindfulness is a mental state and therapeutic technique attained by purposefully focusing your awareness on the present moment, while calmly and without judgement acknowledging your feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.
The concept of mindfulness is quite ancient, and part of Buddhist and other Eastern spiritual teachings which believe that a calm awareness of one’s body, feelings, and mind is an important part of the road to self actualisation.
Mindfulness was taken and developed in the 1970s as a psychological tool to manage anxiety, stress and chronic pain by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, who then set up a Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School to teach its principles. Now mindfulness is a scientifically researched phenomenon recognised by the world’s leading doctors, scientists, and psychologists. In the 1990s it was further developed specifically to help depression.
Mindfulness has proved itself so useful as it helps combat the ‘auto-pilot’ it is so easy to live a busy modern life from. We eat an entire bag of pretzels without realising it until we reach into the bag and find it empty, or walk all the way to a destination before realising we haven’t noticed a single thing we’ve walked by. Why does this matter when it comes to depression? If we live our life in a spaced out way we are living life with our unconscious running the show, which leaves room for anxiety to take over.
And if we are distracted, challenges can take us unawares and we respond reactively, flying off the handle or saying something we regret. If we have present moment awareness we can be calmer and respond with consideration. Mindfulness helps us consider our actions and respond in thoughtful ways. And it helps us consciously choose what environments, people, and thoughts to be affected by, too.
In summary mindfulness creates room for us to make clearer choices, feel more in control of our lives, be calmer and make healthy decisions, and ultimately find more joy by noticing the positive details of our lives and relationships..."
"Finding ways to maintain that optimal zone where we are neither under- or over-stimulated allows us to use our minds to respond rather than to react. The greater access you maintain to yourself, the richer and broader your array of creative tools.” Psychologist Cheryl Arutt
- See more quotes, books, articles and sites to improve your emotional balance and enhance your creative life.
Rarely has counselling been so deeply analysed as in this US study of mainly alcohol and cocaine dependent patients. The far-reaching implications are that some counsellors generate relationships with clients which feed through to better outcomes – but also that the 'best' relationship builders are not on average the most effective.
1.In my early professional years I was asking the question: How can I treat, or cure, or change this person? Now I would phrase the question in this way: How can I provide a relationship which this person may use for his own personal growth?
2.The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.
3.The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction not a destination
4.The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.
5.When I look at the world I'm pessimistic, but when I look at people I am optimistic.
6.When a person realizes he has been deeply heard, his eyes moisten. I think in some real sense he is weeping for joy. It is as though he were saying, "Thank God, somebody heard me. Someone knows what it's like to be me.
7.When I have been listened to and when I have been heard, I am able to re-perceive my world in a new way and to go on. It is astonishing how elements that seem insoluble become soluble when someone listens, how confusions that seem irremediable turn into relatively clear flowing streams when one is heard. I have deeply appreciated the times that I have experienced this sensitive, empathic, concentrated listening.
8.When someone really hears you without passing judgment on you, without trying to take responsibility for you, without trying to mold you, it feels damn good. . . .
9.People are just as wonderful as sunsets if I can let them be... When I look at a sunset, I don’t find myself saying, "Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner"... I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds.
"...It may sound like a paradox, but avoiding fearful thoughts actually makes anxiety worse, explains Dr. Mickey Trockel, M.D., a psychiatrist and clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University. "The biggest concern is when anxiety starts to create an avoidance cycle," Trockel tells The Huffington Post. "When something is provoking those emotions, then avoiding it feels good -- and because that feels good, it's reinforcing the anxiety. Then, the next time the situation comes up, without any conscious decision-making, it creates greater intensity."
Norton suggests confronting your initial anxiety in a mindful manner to keep it from worsening. Otherwise, avoiding those worrisome thoughts may cause them to manifest in other ways, such as nightmares or flashbacks. "Challenge your own thoughts and diffuse them, rather than hide them underneath the rug," he says...."
Therapy can feel stuck, stymied and aimless, but fits and starts may be a necessary aspect of transformative therapeutic processes. Of course, this is because problems outside of therapy show up in the consulting room. Therapy feels stuck when the domains of choice are too restricted or rigid, when the people involved are unable or unwilling to engage in the options each party invites and attempts.
How does the process of being stuck and unstuck proceed? This depends partly on how and whether the therapist and client can engage in a co-constructed improvisational activity. Empathy is necessary since its absence may be why the therapy is stuck in the first place. Empathy is required for therapeutic improvisation.
An hour-long video created by Western Carolina University students, faculty and alumni titled “Positive Psychotherapy: Helping People Thrive” was recently released by Alexander Street Press. Filmed in December, the video ...
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