Tyranny Of The Shoulds

We oftentimes tell ourselves and other people what we should or shouldn’t think, feel or do. This post looks at some ways these statements work for us, at the price we pay for making them, and at two alternatives to shoulding on ourselves and others

Memory Rescripting: Building A Brighter Yesterday

The connection between memory and self-perception is clinically significant, as distorted self-perceptions are at the core of many disorders. These include PTSD, depression, social anxiety and personality and eating disorders. Negative self perceptions encapsulate patients’ self-defeating beliefs about themselves, others and the world at large. Such perceptions often arise from abuse, neglect or bullying and

CBT & Serenity

    The American pastor Reinhold Niebuhr Reinhold gave us the Serenity Prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.    Cognitive-behavioral therapy provides the ways and means to turn Niebuhr’s prayer into a lived reality in even the

Paradoxical Invitations: To Change Or Not To Change

We can invite another person to change in two ways. One is to offer a straightforward invitation. “You are currently X, might you prefer Y?” We can, for instance, invite a patient, friend or family member out of emotional suffering or self-defeating behavior and into a new way of being, feeling or doing. A second

Pure Poetry Of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Poets and cognitive-behavioral therapists are fellow travelers, both very much in the business of words. The American poet Wallace Stevens is an especially close fellow traveler. His poems work the same territory that CBT works: the interface between reality and what we tell ourselves about reality. In this post I share one of his poems,