happiness is not a choice for those with mental illlness
Mental health

Happiness Is a Choice, My Ass

This was originally posted in 2018 in the early months of this blog.  I've decided to pull a few posts out of the archives where they were gathering dust, give them an overhaul, and bring them back to life.  It's a bit of an experiment, and here's the first one.   "Happiness is a choice." … Continue reading Happiness Is a Choice, My Ass

Book reviews, Mental health

Book Review: Get Out of Your Mind & Into Your Life

Get Out of Your Mind & Into Your Life by Steven C. Hayes explains how concepts from acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) can get you unstuck from your thoughts. There is a brief look at relational frame theory, on which ACT is based, but the book doesn't get bogged down in theory.  In a nutshell,… Continue reading Book Review: Get Out of Your Mind & Into Your Life

graphic of hands with the words I am now, and holding a globe
Mental health, Psychology

What Does the Self Consist of?

What is it that makes you, you?  Is there even a self? A fundamental concept in Buddhism is non-self.  The word Anatta is used for the principle that "there is in humans no permanent, underlying substance that can be called the soul" (Wikipedia).  The belief that there is a self is viewed as a source… Continue reading What Does the Self Consist of?

book cover: Escaping the Emotional Roller Coaster by Patricia Zurita Ona
Book reviews

Book review: Escaping the Emotional Roller Coaster

Escaping the Emotional Roller Coaster: ACT for the Emotionally Sensitive by Dr. Patricia Zurita Ona draws upon acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) techniques to help "super-feelers" work with their emotions more effectively. What is a super-feeler?  It's a term the author uses to describe people who struggle with emotional regulation, meaning they experience intense emotions… Continue reading Book review: Escaping the Emotional Roller Coaster

ACT life compass
Mental health

Setting sail with the ACT life compass

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a type of psychotherapy that takes the stance that avoidance and resistance to internal experiences identified as negative is what causes cognitive distress.  To resolve distress, ACT suggests that we need to employ strategies like mindfulness, de-fusion from our thoughts, and recognizing the self as the context in which… Continue reading Setting sail with the ACT life compass

beaver dam on a stream
Mental health

Thoughts as leaves on a stream

Thoughts as leaves on a stream is a popular metaphor used in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to represent noticing thoughts and letting them pass by without attaching to them.  I like this metaphor, since it's not about fighting the thoughts or trying to make them go away, but just riding them out. I got… Continue reading Thoughts as leaves on a stream

ACT for anxiety disorders by Eifert and Forsyth book cover
Mental health

Suppression of Unwanted Thoughts

I was browsing the web for interesting therapy materials, when I came across the worksheets for Acceptance & Commitment Therapy for Anxiety Disorders on the website of one of the authors, Dr. John Forsyth.  I've never done ACT, but I've done a lot of reading about it, and it makes a lot of sense to… Continue reading Suppression of Unwanted Thoughts

multicolored letters of the alphabet floating in a pool
Mental health

Psychotherapy alphabet soup

Some studies have shown that the quality of the therapeutic relationship between client and therapist is a stronger predictor of therapeutic outcomes than the type of therapy used.  However, it seems logical that the type of therapy should at least to some extent match up with how you tend to conceptualize the problems you're experiencing.… Continue reading Psychotherapy alphabet soup

Exploring values: kindness, curiosity, open-mindedness, respect, honest, and empathy
Mental health

Exploring values

Values: we've all got them, but how often do we think about them?  It's worth checking in with ourselves every so often as to what our values are, and how consistent our behaviour is with those values.  Unlike goals, values are not an endpoint, but rather a guiding direction.  Acceptance and commitment therapy offers some… Continue reading Exploring values

Emotional Agility by Susan David book cover
Book reviews

Book Review: Emotional Agility

Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life is written by psychologist Dr. Susan David, and was recommended to me by Chris at Breathe Underwater.  I was quite impressed with this book.  Normally when I'm reading a book I intend to review I take notes as I'm reading of the points that… Continue reading Book Review: Emotional Agility